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Trackhouse boss thinks Raikkonen will haul ass in NASCAR Cup debut

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

The Finns appearance is section of Trackhouses Project 91 initiative that is seeking to expand NASCARs reach by introducing talented international racing drivers to the Cup Series.

I believe that the speed and the race craft and the adaptation to the automobile will not be a concern at all, Marks said. Just how he was prepared when he first arrived in America not only the final 24 hours he was asking concerning the No. 1 cars pit penalty at Michigan, he previously questions about short-pitting stages and how exactly to work strategy backwards on road courses.

He’s got really done lots of work and preparation and thats unsurprising if you ask me. Thats what must be done to be as successful as hes experienced Formula 1 for such a long time.

The race at The Glen marks Raikkonens first outing in a motorsport event since he retired from F1 last December along with his final appearance for Alfa Romeo at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

To get ready for next weekends race, Raikkonen has taken his entire family to america for a number of weeks.

Throughout that time hes done simulator work, driven in iRacing events, participated in pit stop practice at the shop and on Thursday took part in his Select Driver Orientation Test at Virginia International Raceway in a Next Gen car.

Raikkonen, 42, in addition has undertaken a whole lot individual study which leaves Marks convinced he ought to be up to date come next weekend.

From the speed and a preparation and knowledge standpoint, I believe hes likely to be directly on par, Marks explained. Where in fact the challenge will undoubtedly be is ensuring he understands the race from the procedural standpoint, he understands the guidelines.

Weve prepared a document for him that presents point-of-view imagery of where pit entrance is and where in fact the pit light is, where in fact the (timing) lines are and all that sort of stuff. Thats where hes got the steepest learning curve isn’t driving through way too many pit boxes, not pitting prematurily ., not taking out of line prior to the start/finish line in the beginning, not speeding on pit road.

A penalty may take a complete day from you. Thats where in fact the heavy lift will undoubtedly be and thats where were focusing plenty of our attention. From just how he arrived prepared to be built in the car, I’ve high expectations.

I believe hes likely to haul ass.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Photo by: Project91

Marks, who co-owns Trackhouse with Grammy award-winning rapper Pitbull, believes another Gen car has helped lower the barrier of entry for drivers thinking about competing in the Cup Series.

Ive known for quite a long time there’s significant global interest on the list of elite motorsports drivers of the planet in taking part in a NASCAR race, Marks said. Its a distinctive series. People around Europe and all over the world look at NASCAR as this giant type of motorsports in the us and have a pastime in trying that.

But its been hard to break through and its own been hard to reach your goals as the car (as yet) has required this type of unique and proprietary design of driving therefore the barrier has essentially been high.

Marks thought to begin the Project 91 initiative they might need someone relevant globally to kick it off and felt the timing was right for Raikkonen.

Heres a man that races full-time in F1 for basically 20 years, hes gone to America and run NASCAR races before therefore i knew the interest was there and we’d great mutual friends so there is immediate trust, Marks said.

I believe he considered it and there is some unfinished business back 2011 when he raced before. The complete idea was to accomplish a Cup race and he never got the chance. I’d say the stars aligned pretty much.

Raikkonen entered one Xfinity Series race and something Truck Series race in 2011 with Kyle Busch Motorsports during his sabbatical from F1.

He’s got also tested a Cup car at VIR before, driving a Dodge for Robby Gordon Motorsports in 2011, however the test ended early when he went off and tore up the nose on wet grass.

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