Jenson Button enters world rallycross with 1000hp electric racer Car News

Jenson Button’s post-Formula 1 adventures will continue this season as he follows his late father John into the world of rallycross.

The 2009 F1 champion has signed to join Xite Energy Racing in the Nitro Rallycross series, which races in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia and Saudi Arabia, after opening at Lydden Hill in Kent on June 18-19.

Button, 42, will race an electrically powered FC1-X alongside fellow Briton Oli Bennett in a form of motorsport his father played in in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I want to race,” said Button, who stepped down as a rider this year on the Extreme E off-road team he owns. “I love racing, I love competition and I want to have fun.

“I look forward to racing Nitro RX with Xite Energy – a team that has a wealth of experience in not only rallycross but also EV racing.”

Button retired from F1 at the end of 2016, although he made a final one-off appearance for McLaren at the 2017 Monaco GP. He has since won the Japanese Super GT Championship in a Honda NSX in 2018, made his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, tasted the Baja 1000, raced at Silverstone in a unique British GT appearance in a McLaren GT3, launched his JBXE Extreme E team and made his historic racing debut at Goodwood.

He has always expressed his love for rallycross due to his family connection to the sport.

“Dad used to race in a Volkswagen Beetle and then a Volkswagen Golf,” he said. “I would like to emulate what he did – it would be quite special. I loved following him and watching him run. I remember it was so strong. It won’t be a problem this time: the FC1 is not noisy. It’s great that the kids can come and watch and don’t have to wear helmets.

“It looks awesome. There’s so much action. There are some fantastic drivers in some absolute beasts. The car I’m going to drive, the FC1-X, has 1000hp and is an electric four-wheeler motorized with 12 inches of suspension travel – which it needs. Some of the jumps I’ll be flying over are extremely big and scary, but that’s why it’s exciting for me.

“Rallycross is different day and night from F1, and that’s why I love it. I left F1 after 17 years because I wanted to try something new. I’m all about new challenges. I’m a racing driver not an F1 driver so new challenges are what excites me I felt I achieved what I needed in F1 so it’s good to try different things.”

Button and Bennett, who met as competitors at Extreme E last year, have already begun preparations for their season, driving Xite Energy’s Mini RX Supercar and Fiesta Supercar at Pembrey in Wales this month.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-12 11:31:29

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