Kimi Raikkonen rues lack of laps despite 'fun' NASCAR qualifying at Watkins Glen

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Kimi Raikkonen rued a lack of running as he qualified 27th for the NASCAR Cup race at Watkins Glen on Saturday.

The 2007 Formula 1 champion is taking part in a one-off event as part of TrackHouse Racing's 'Project 91' initiative aimed at giving international drivers a chance to compete in the series.

And in his first competitive outing on track since retiring from F1 at the end of last year, Raikkonen was enjoying the thrill.

“Obviously I wish there had been more laps because it just felt like there was a lot of potential,” he told NBC.

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“I’m not sure which line to take and just not enough laps to build everything together, but it was fun.

“Quite a lot like what I expected after the simulator. Obviously, there’s always a difference, the fine details are never shown in a simulator, but at least I knew the track and tried to go.

“But I think I needed to be a bit more…some places I thought I was pretty okay, but it’s good, I didn’t expect anything and we are somewhere in the middle so it’s okay.”

Looking ahead to the race on Sunday, Raikkonen is keen to continue the progress he has made throughout the weekend but isn't setting any expectations.

“I have no idea yet, too many things, too many options,” he said on how he'll approach the race.

“But I think we’ve just got to make sure we know more or less the rules and not making any silly mistakes on that side hopefully, and then see what we can do with the car.

“We have a little bit of an idea from what we started and where we went and maybe somewhere halfway is better. So we tried to improve from the first session to qualifying and we try to do the same in the race.”

Raikkonen isn't the only ex-F1 driver on track at the Glen with Daniil Kvyat also taking part. The Russian though was only 36th in the 39-car field.