He might be settling into retirement well, but you can’t keep a thoroughbred racer away from the circuit for long. Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion will take to the track twice this year in an interesting mix of vintage machinery—some of which he must’ve watched race in his youth. With a stunning resume, including 306 Formula 1 starts, he’ll be one of the most experienced drivers to work with JD Classics.
Derek Hood, JD Classics founder said: “It’s an absolute pleasure for us to have Jenson racing with us twice this season. I know the talented engineers working in our race shop in Maldon are some of the best in the world so Jenson will have all the technical support he needs. We’re proud sponsors of both Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Revival, because we believe they deliver some of the best historic motorsport action on the calendar – having Jenson racing at both just goes to show why.”
The first of which is a Jaguar XJR-9 at Classic Le Mans this July. One of the last wailing Group C greats, this XJR-9 will go toe-to-toe with other sports car racing icons of that era, like the Porsche 962C, Peugeot 905 EV1, and Nissan NPTi 90. This V12-powered screamer, originally built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing to replace their Le Mans-winning car in 1988, went on to place third at Brno and second at the Spa 1,000km that year in the hands of Johnny Dumfries, Martin Brundle, and Jan Lammers. So Button will add to that prestigious lineup, to say the least.
The next race will take place at an event in which Button is well-received and no stranger to. The Goodwood Revival in September will welcome the Briton and one of the JD-prepared entries, which have in the past included a Ford GT40, Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, and Cooper T33. It’s relieving to know that one of the world’s best still needs that rush that his—admittedly plush—post-racing life simply cannot offer.