News of Raikkonen’s plan was reported in the Finnish Turun Sanomat website earlier this week. It revealed that the 31-year-old would use the Truck Series to build his experience of oval racing before a future switch to the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup stock car disciplines. However, his WRC campaign would not be affected, the article stated.
Raikkonen will compete under the Ice 1 Racing banner, which enters his Citroen DS3 WRC in the world championship. Foster Gillett, whose family have interests in ice hockey and football, will become a major partner of the team, according to the website report.
“I’m really looking forward to get there to familiarise to the world of NASCAR,” Raikkonen was reported as telling Turun Sanomat. “I have been following it for a long time. I know it’s a very tough and open, top racing series. I just love the American spirit of racing. It feels just great to get involved with that. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me.”
It’s not clear what type of vehicle Raikkonen will use or when his first event will be although there are 21 rounds remaining this season.
Raikkonen has committed to a 10-event WRC campaign in 2011. His next event will be the Jordan Rally in April. He will skip the rounds in Sardinia and Argentina before returning for Acropolis Rally of Greece in June.
On Vodafone Rally de Portugal last weekend Raikkonen claimed second overall, his second point-scoring finish in as many starts.
“I am trying to improve all of the time and learn more and more to go fast more often,” Raikkonen told Wrc.com in Portugal. “It’s more or less the same story as last year but of course we have more experience so it’s a bit more easy.”