Former Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will make a surprising move to NASCAR later this year with a new team, according to the Turun Sanomat newspaper in his native Finland.
Raikkonen, 2007 World Champion with Ferrari, plans to race with the new "ICE1 Racing" team in the Camping World Truck Series (ABOVE) before moving on to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series, according to the newspaper. He is expected to start racing in Trucks this summer, although no dates are yet confirmed.
Raikkonen will be joining forces with Foster Gillett, who will be a major partner of the team, having worked with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR last year. Foster's family owned the Montreal Canadiens' NHL franchise and are also former co-owners of the Liverpool soccer team in England.
"I'm really looking forward to getting there to familiarize to the world of NASCAR," Raikkonen was quoted as saying by 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."
According to the newspaper, the negotiations about which car the ICE1 Racing team will run are about to be completed. Raikkonen will continue to compete in the World Rally Championship this year, where he has a deal for eight events.