Raikkonen to combine rally with NASCAR in 2011

Kimi Raikkonen and Juan-Pablo Montoya could meet again in NASCAR
Kimi Raikkonen and Juan-Pablo Montoya could meet again in NASCAR

As the second F1 season without him kicks off, Kimi Raikkonen has revealed plans to branch into NASCAR racing this year.

Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper said the 2007 world champion will combine his world rally championship foray in 2011 with America's premier motor racing category.

The 31-year-old's NASCAR adventure will begin in between rally outings with some events in the lesser truck and Nationwide categories with his own Ice1 entry.

The Finnish report said Raikkonen will "make his debut before the summer" in business with Foster Gillett, former managing partner of premier Sprint Cup team Richard Petty Motorsports.

I look forward to exploring the world of NASCAR

Kimi Raikkonen

"I look forward to exploring the world of NASCAR," Raikkonen is quoted as saying. "I've been following it for a long time and I know it's a great series. I like the American style.

"It will definitely be fun and challenging."

Turun Sanomat said talks with a car manufacturer are well advanced.

Raikkonen's former McLaren teammate Juan Pablo Montoya switched to NASCAR in 2006.