Button follows in father’s footsteps

Jenson Button

Jenson Button will compete in Nitro Rallycross this year, taking a leaf out of his father John’s book.

The 2009 Formula 1 world champion will drive an XITE Energy-liveried, all-electric FC1-X car.

“I love racing, I love competing and I want to have fun,” said the 42-year-old, who will count fellow Englishman Oli Bennett as his team-mate.

“I’m looking forward to racing Nitro RX with XITE Energy – a team which has great experience of not just rallycross but also racing electric vehicles.

“It looks awesome. There’s so much action.

“There are some fantastic drivers driving some absolute beasts. The car I’ll be racing is the FC1-X. It’s a 1000 horsepower, four-wheel drive EV with 12-inches of suspension travel – which it needs, to be fair.

“Some of the jumps I’ll be flying over are extremely big and kind of scary, but that’s why it’s exciting to me as it’s a new challenge.

“Rallycross is night and day different to Formula 1 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 a Formula 1 driver so new challenges is what I’m all about. I felt I achieved what I needed to in Formula 1 so it’s nice to try different things.”

It’s an arena which is not new to the Button family.

“There’s a real family connection with rallycross. Dad used to race in the late ‘70s and ‘80s in a Volkswagen Beetle and then a Volkswagen Golf,” he added.

“If you go on YouTube you’ll actually find some videos of my Dad racing at Lydden Hill with Murray Walker commentating.

“I’d like to emulate what he did – that would be pretty special. I used to love going along and watching him race.

“I remember it was so loud. That won’t be a problem this time – the FC1 is not loud; it’s awesome that the kids can come and watch and don’t need to wear headsets!”

The first event of the 2022/23 Nitro Rallycross season will take place on Button’s home soil on June 18-19.

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