“It was beneficial to put some laps in,” Kimi Raikkonen feeling good about NASCAR outing at Watkins Glen

Kimi Raikkonen will be on his way to Watkins Glen soon for his first racing action since Abu Dhabi last year, and he recently got some practice for the event.

Kimi Raikkonen
FirstSportz News

Kimi Raikkonen left Formula 1 at the end of last season, this time (presumably) for good. While he has had a relatively quiet year, he is in fact set for a NASCAR cup outing at Watkins Glen, which will be his first set of racing action since Abu Dhabi last year. This is part of ‘Project 91’ Trackhouse Racing’s initiative to give international racing drivers a chance to compete in NASCAR.

Raikkonen flew to the US this week to participate in a driver orientation program in preparation for his outing at Watkins Glen. Previously, Raikkonen had competed in a couple of NASCAR series races back in 2011, when he was on break from Formula 1 and had also participated in the World Rally Championship.

Raikkonen drove a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 test car, but he will not be driving the actual race-spec NASCAR until Watkins Glen. On this, he said: “I don’t have anything to compare but I think it was nice to get some laps, even if it’s not exactly the same car that we’re going to race. It was very beneficial just to put laps [in] and have some fun, and know what the car is somewhat doing, do long runs to find out so I’m sure it’ll be easier to go into practice come the race.”

Also Read: “He’s going to haul ass,” Justin Marks has “high expectations,” for Kimi Raikkonen’s cup debut at  Watkins Glen

Kimi Raikkonen: “So far it’s been good.”

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

Of course, as mentioned before, Kimi Raikkonen has in fact raced in NASCAR before, but that was more than a decade ago, and that experience is not going to be particularly helpful for the outing he will be on.

As reported by Planet F1, he commented: “Obviously, I have a little experience with the Cup car from 2011. This car is a new generation car, it’s a lot nicer. I guess more or less what I expected. I tried the simulator so I had some idea – it’s OK. Obviously, the same things happen to it as a normal car, so when the tyres get hot you’re sliding more. So far it’s been good.”

Raikkonen feels better prepared for NASCAR this time around than he did back in 2011, and says: “Maybe we did 50 laps or something. Without those and the simulator, for sure I’d be going straight into 20 minutes of practice, and then qualifying, and that would be much harder.”

Raikkonen thanked NASCAR for the preparation he has been able to get and said that he did the best he could. Despite this, it is a new track for him, and the Iceman says he will still have to learn it.

Also Read: Kimi Raikkonen gears up for his first NASCAR race after almost a decade

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