2007 F1 Champion Will Race March 26 at Circuit of the Americas
CONCORD, N.C., March 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Trackhouse Entertainment Group today announced 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen of Finland will return to the NASCAR Cup Series on March 26 at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas to race PROJECT91’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
The race will mark Räikkönen’s second Cup Series race after debuting with PROJECT91 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Aug. 21 last year. Räikkönen is familiar with COTA, racing on the road course eight times during his Formula One career. One of Räikkönen’s 21 Formula One victories, and most recent, came at COTA on Oct. 21, 2018, when he led 39 laps driving a Ferrari.
“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Räikkönen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”
Trackhouse Racing – a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group – fields the No. 99 and the No. 1 Chevrolets with drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Trackhouse Owner and Founder Justin Marks created PROJECT91 in 2022, intent on expanding the organization’s global reach by fielding a Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers.
“When we announced Kimi last year, I said he was the global superstar I had in mind when we created PROJECT91. I think you saw the fan reception across the world and Kimi’s performance in the car was proof of the concept. Kimi’s following is massive and it’s great for NASCAR, Trackhouse plus I think Kimi really enjoys our racing.”
Räikkönen will race the No. 91 Onx/iLOQ Chevrolet Camaro at COTA, fielded by a Trackhouse crew led by 23-time wining crew chief Darian Grubb, who won a Cup Series title with Tony Stewart in 2011.
Onx is transforming how the world builds homes and neighborhoods through X+ Construction, a fully integrated system that merges high-end design and leading technology, delivering more value at every step of the homeowner journey. The company served as the primary sponsor on Ross Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet when he won the COTA race last year as well as Daniel Suárez’s victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June.
iLOQ, the Finnish pioneer of smart and mobile locking systems, is present in the American market with its battery-free technology that ensures secure and intelligent access management for people and businesses.
Last summer, Räikkönen became the first PROJECT91 driver visiting the team’s Concord, North Carolina race shop and testing with the team at Virginia International Raceway. At the Watkins Glen race, Räikkönen qualified 27th then raced in the top-10 most of the afternoon before a late race accident caused by another driver ended his day.
Marks said Räikkönen will again visit the Trackhouse shop in the days before the Austin, Texas event.
“I’m sure there are a lot of drivers that would like to have a chance to try NASCAR,” said Räikkönen. “It’s not very easy, so maybe it will open some doors in the future for more chances to try and get more Europeans into the sport.”
The native of Espoo, Finland retired from Formula One in 2021 after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo teams since he started in 2001. His Formula One highlight came in 2007 when he won the F1 World Driving title for Scuderia Ferrari.
After retiring from a driving career in NASCAR and sports cars, Justin Marks created Trackhouse Entertainment Group in 2020 with the goal of creating a racing brand that transcends the sport. In 2021, the team announced a partnership with international superstar entertainer Pitbull. Trackhouse began the 2022 season as its own two-car team with drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain. Chastain gave the organization its first victory at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and won again at Talladega Superspeedway. Suárez became the first Mexican driver to win a Cup race when he dominated the Sonoma Raceway race in June. Chastain (2nd) and Suarez (10th) posted best career points finish in 2022. The success continues in 2023 with Chastain leading the NASCAR points standings after three races while Suárez is fourth.
For more information or to shop Project 91 merchandise, please visit www.trackhouse.com.
Perch Partners for Trackhouse