Trackhouse boss thinks Raikkonen “will haul ass” in NASCAR Cup debut

The 2007 Components 1 world champion will drive for Trackhouse within the street course race Aug. 21 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) Worldwide as a teammate to Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.

The Finn’s look is a part of Trackhouse’s Venture 91 initiative which is seeking to increase NASCAR’s attain by introducing proficient worldwide racing drivers to the Cup Collection.

“I believe that the velocity and the race craft and the variation to the automotive should not going to be a difficulty in any respect,” Marks stated. “The best way he was ready when he first confirmed up in America – not simply the final 24 hours – he was asking concerning the No. 1 automotive’s pit penalty at Michigan, he had questions on short-pitting phases and the way to work technique backwards on street programs.

“He has actually achieved plenty of work and preparation and that’s not stunning to me. That’s what it takes to be as profitable as he’s been in Components 1 for thus lengthy.”

The race at The Glen marks Raikkonen’s first outing in a motorsport occasion since he retired from F1 final December along with his last look for Alfa Romeo on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

To organize for subsequent weekend’s race, Raikkonen has introduced his complete household to america for a number of weeks.

Throughout that point he’s achieved simulator work, pushed in iRacing occasions, participated in pit cease apply on the store and on Thursday took half in his “Choose Driver Orientation Take a look at” at Virginia Worldwide Raceway in a Subsequent Gen automotive.

Raikkonen, 42, has additionally undertaken lots particular person examine – all of which leaves Marks satisfied he ought to be up to the mark come subsequent weekend.

“From a velocity and a preparation and data standpoint, I believe he’s going to be proper on par,” Marks defined. “The place the problem might be is ensuring that he understands the race from a procedural standpoint, that he understands the principles.

“We’ve ready a doc for him that exhibits point-of-view imagery of the place pit entrance is and the place the pit gentle is, the place the (timing) strains are and all that type of stuff. That’s the place he’s received the steepest studying curve shouldn’t be driving via too many pit bins, not pitting too early, not pulling out of line earlier than the beginning/end line in the beginning, not dashing on pit street.

“A penalty can take an entire day away from you. That’s the place the heavy elevate might be and that’s the place we’re focusing plenty of our consideration. From the best way he confirmed up able to be fitted within the automotive, I’ve excessive expectations.

“I believe he’s going to haul ass.”

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Picture by: Project91

Marks, who co-owns Trackhouse with Grammy award-winning rapper Pitbull, believes the Subsequent Gen automotive has helped decrease the barrier of entry for drivers all for competing within the Cup Collection.

“I’ve recognized for a very long time there’s important world curiosity among the many elite motorsports drivers of the world in taking part in a NASCAR race,” Marks stated. “It’s a novel sequence. Individuals round Europe and world wide have a look at NASCAR as this large type of motorsports in America and have an curiosity in attempting that.

“However it’s been exhausting to interrupt via and it’s been exhausting to achieve success as a result of the automotive (till now) has required such a novel and proprietary fashion of driving so the barrier has primarily been excessive.”

Marks stated to start the Venture 91 initiative they would want somebody “related globally” to kick it off and felt the timing was proper for Raikkonen.

“Right here’s a man that races full-time in F1 for principally 20 years, he’s been to America and run NASCAR races earlier than so I knew the curiosity was there and we had nice mutual pals so there was rapid belief,” Marks stated.

“I believe he considered it and there was some unfinished enterprise again in 2011 when he raced earlier than. The entire thought was to do a Cup race and he by no means received the chance. I’d say the celebrities aligned fairly properly.”

Raikkonen entered one Xfinity Collection race and one Truck Collection race in 2011 with Kyle Busch Motorsports throughout his sabbatical from F1.

He has additionally examined a Cup automotive at VIR earlier than, driving a Dodge for Robby Gordon Motorsports in 2011, however the check ended early when he went off and tore up the nostril on moist grass.

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