Button to contest WEC, Le Mans 24 Hours
Jenson Button will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut in June after securing a deal to contest the 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship with SMP Racing.
The 2009 Formula 1 world champion will pilot one of SMP Racing’s Dallara-built BR1 LMP1 machines alongside former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov and fellow Russian Mikhail Aleshin.
Button is expected to contest every round of the FIA WEC season apart from next week’s opening round at Spa, which clashes with his full-time Super GT commitments.
Confirmation of the Brit’s maiden attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours will see the 38-year-old go up against his former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, who will also be making his La Sarthe debut for the factory Toyota LMP1 team.
“As you can imagine it’s always been a dream of mine to race at Le Mans, I think it’s every driver’s dream to take part and hopefully go on to clinch that win at Le Mans, and I’m definitely no different,” said Button.
“My team-mates will be Aleshin and Petrov, who I know very well from his racing in F1, and Mikhail from his IndyCar exploits.
“We go to Le Mans to fight for the win. Every driver aims to win every race they go in for, but I think we really do have a good chance of being competitive at Le Mans.”
SMP Racing will field a sister LMP1 entry for Russians Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan and ex-Toyota LMP1 driver Stephane Sarrazin.
The Russian squad will be among a field of 10 LMP1 cars for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours held from June 13-17.