Nancy Knapp Schilke
Räikkönen tested the Peugeot Sport 908 prototype at Aragon circuit in Spain
Kimi Räikkönen follows in the footsteps of other race car drivers who have not limited their talent to just one top international series. The 2007 Formula One World Champion continues to race since his departure from Formula 1, and today, the Finn was behind the wheel of a Le Mans prototype with the Peugeot Sport team.
The 908 is a really fun car to drive.
It is not the first time the talented driver has taken on a new challenge but it was a new experience for Räikkönen in one of the cutting-edge of technology sports cars. The Finn stays busy with his commitment as a privateer owner/driver with Citroen in the World Rally Championship; plus his adventures in NASCAR stockcar racing.
He toured the Spanish circuit for a count of 35 laps today and said afterwards, “I enjoyed this test with Peugeot. The 908 is a really fun car to drive.”
Peugeot is one of the top teams in the Le Mans 24 Hours event; plus they won the first Intercontinental Le Mans Cup last year and are currently leading the ILMC points this season over their rivals, the Audi from Germany. Both Audi and Peugeot developed the first diesel-powered prototypes to campaign not just for victories but also for the consumer market.
Räikkönen was joined in today’s test runs by some of the usual Peugeot 908 drivers. On hand were Stéphane Sarrazin, Franck Montagny, Alexander Wurz and Simon Pagenaud. It was the Finn’s first experience not just in the specialty built sportscar prototype but also his first on the Aragon circuit.
“Kimi arrived yesterday evening in order to meet up with the team, prepare his seat and set up his driving position. He adapted very quickly to the car and gave us a valuable technical feedback. It is always interesting to get inputs from drivers such as Kimi,” said Pascal Dimitri, Peugeot Sport Team Manager.
Räikkönen ran a go-kart for the first time when he was three years old and his passion for racing anything with four- or two-wheels grew from that moment on, but he did not limit his wanting to go “flat out” to just cars and bikes as he enjoys take on the competition or a new challenge; even if just for fun on his snow-mobile or skis. A lot of Finnish racers are known as a “Flying Finn” and obviously he fits the bill.
His NASCAR debut was in the Truck series at Charlotte and one week later, he was behind the wheel of a NASCAR Nationwide car at the same venue. After his foray into the stockcars, he was asked when he would return to the United States to compete again to which he simply replied, "I don't know yet." His commitment is still with the World Rally series. Perhaps he might yet be named as one of the Peugeot drivers for the team’s Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta which would make his return to the USA.
Peugeot Sport Director Olivier Quesnel said, “Originally, this test session was planned for a long time in order to prepare the rest of the season on top of which we have allowed Kimi to discover the 908. As of today, nothing has been scheduled or planned for the future.”