Photo: Daniel Kalisz (Getty Images)
When Trackhouse Racing announced Project91, its part-time NASCAR Cup Series entry for international stars, no one could have imagined that the team’s two regular full-time entries would both make the playoffs and advance to the second round. This season’s only appearance for the No. 91 Chevy Camaro with Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel was also a success despite him getting collected in a crash. The team is planning on increasing Project91 appearances in 2023, but who do you get to follow up Ferrari’s most recent Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion?
In an interview with Nine’s Wide World of Sports in Australia, Shane van Gisbergen confirmed that he is negotiating with Trackhouse team owner Justin Marks about a Project91 appearance next season. Van Gisbergen is the reigning two-time Supercars Champion and currently leading this season’s point standings. Outside of touring cars, the New Zealander is also an experienced GT3 driver with a Bathurst 12 Hour victory and a second-place class finish at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Trackhouse getting SVG for a race would be a massive crossover event.
Photo: Chris Graythen (Getty Images)
Van Gisbergen mentioned how cool it was to watch Raikkonen race for Trackhouse. Then, he went on to ponder the circuits where he could potentially make his appearance:
“I’ve raced Watkins before, so I know that one. All the other tracks are pretty good. I think they’ve got the Chicago street circuit for the first time next year as well. A street circuit would suit me, I reckon. That would be good as well because it’s a new track for everyone, so certainly that would help me get up to speed if everyone else is learning as well. That would be a good one, but let’s see.”
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Despite being a relatively new team, Trackhouse has been incredibly competitive and Project91 is a win for all parties involved. Trackhouse gets to promote itself internationally, and star drivers from overseas get to experience racing in the NASCAR Cup Series without having to pedal around the back of the field with a smaller team.