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Russian racer gears up for NASCAR debut

Former Formula One star Daniil Kvyat will drive at Indianapolis this weekend

Daniil Kvyat will add his name to the list of former F1 racers to cross over to the iconic American NASCAR series after it was confirmed that the Russian would make his debut at Indianapolis this weekend.

Kvyat, 28, will race for Team Hezeberg when the NASCAR Cup Series takes to the road course at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Team Hezeberg formally unveiled Kvyat as their second driver on Tuesday. He will race in the number 26 Toyota, which is a nod to the same number the Russian used during his F1 days at Red Bull.

“I have always been passionate about racing in NASCAR, the top form of motorsport in the United States. NASCAR has always been intriguing to me, as it is a pure form of motorsport to me,” Kvyat said of his NASCAR opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to being successful in this form of motorsport and I hope to contend for wins and championships in the future.”

Speaking to Autosport.com, Kvyat added: “After Formula One, I couldn’t see anything cooler than NASCAR, that’s for sure.”

Team Hezeberg have previously used former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve as one of their drivers, with Loris Hezemans – the son of one of the co-owners of the team – also behind the wheel of the number 27 Ford Mustang.

At Indianapolis, the team will line up with Hezemans and Kvyat for their first ever two-car entry.

The Russian is also expected to contest races later in the series at Watkins Glen on August 21 and at the Charlotte Roval on October 9.

Kvyat made his F1 debut when still a teenager, driving for Red Bull’s Toro Rosso team (later renamed AlphaTauri) in the 2014 season.

He became the youngest-ever points scorer in F1 history with a ninth-place finish at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, beating a record formerly held by Sebastian Vettel.

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© Rudy Carezzevoli / Formula 1 via Getty Images
Keep politics out of sport, says Russian ex-F1 star

Kvyat was later promoted to the main Red Bull team and secured three podium finishes during his F1 career, although ultimately his progress stalled and he spent last season as a reserve driver at the Alpine team.

Kvyat had been planning to compete for the Russian G-Drive Racing team in the FIA World Endurance Championship earlier this year, but the team withdrew from the competition after the FIA laid out renewed criteria for Russian competitors after Moscow launched its military campaign in Ukraine.

The FIA has allowed Russian drivers to continue to compete as neutrals, although Kvyat has criticized the various bans imposed on Russian athletes, calling them an unfair solution [which] goes against what sports teaches us in its principle – unity and peace.”

In another former F1 addition to American racing, Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen is also set to make his NASCAR debut this season.

“I know Kimi from Formula 1, obviously. He’s an interesting character. I’m quite excited that both of us will be sharing the grid in NASCAR,” said Kvyat.

https://ift.tt/gUPGE7N 27, 2022 at 03:29PM
from RT – Daily news

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