The Iceman cometh… in a truck

Restless Raikkonen is moving on. (pic by yoodz)

So Kimi Raikkonen will become the latest single-seater star to step into a stock car as word of a defection to Nascar does the rounds. After a terrible season-and-a-bit of rallying the flying, rolling and bouncing Finn could turn his talent away from forests to ovals.

I take my hat off to any successful racing driver, but those who turn their hands to different disciplines always command the most respect in my mind. So Kimi is back in the good books – F1 to rallying to Nascar Trucks is about as varied a career as it gets. For his Nascar adventure it seems Kimi will also be investing in his own ICE1 team, which is to be applauded. Despite skipping F3 on his meteoric rise through the ranks Kimi has co-owned a British F3 team and leases his own gear from Citroen for his limited rallying campaign this year, so he’s had a taste of how life feels when you pay the bills rather than just cash the cheques.

His fellow team-owner will be Foster Gillett, part of the Gillett family who aren’t too popular in this part of the world after leaving Liverpool Football club in big debt. They’ve long been involved with Nascar, but the name rang alarm bells for me, but Kimi is a big boy.

Kimi told the Finish paper Turun Sanomat, “I just the love the American spirit of racing” and I’m inclined to agree with him. Whether he will love the actual racing is another matter; Juan Pablo Montoya, a fellow no-nonsense man of considerable talents, is still waiting to truly crack Nascar despite making Indycars look easy.

Another pitfall for Kimi will be the media attention in Nascar. Although the stars aren’t nannied by PR-types in quite the same way as F1 pilots, they are still expected to give good sound-bites, talk up rivalries and brazenly promote sponsors, something that the former F1 champion is a little less adept at.

Meanwhile lets hope that Kimi takes the Texas challenge in Indycar at the end of the season. Seems like a neat way to get a little oval practice in and five million bucks would be a nice little boost for his new Nascar squad.



Filed under F1, Nascar, Rally

2 responses to “The Iceman cometh… in a truck

  1. I am hoping against hope perhaps that Kimi does indeed make his way to Indycar in one way or another, though I’d love to see him scrapping with Montoya for the lead in a Nascar place at somewhere like Watkins Glenn, I would really like to see what he can do in an Indy racer, he would be the first successfull F1 crossover since Mansell, and everyone knows what he did.

  2. And Alex Zanardi too, he was better than the cars made him look in F1 and he made Indycars look easy. Mansell’s feat was quite something with his back-to-back titles at a time when Indy was very nearly as packed with talent as F1. I rated his Indycar title as a greater achievement, he had 12 years practice at F1 and a two second a lap advantage on nearly everybody in that Williams.

    Yeah, roll on the road courses! Ambrose will be in there too, what’s the betting we could see an all foreign top three at a road course in a year or two? It’s a sign of the times that when Jacques, Juan Pablo or Kimi look for a change of scenery they head to Nascar instead of Indycar. Let’s hope the new Indycar rules bring the big names flocking once more.

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