But­ton on his 2018 Su­per GT drive


Jen­son But­ton con­firmed a tl a stw eek­end’s Honda Thanks Day at Motegi that he wi llr ace an NSX full-time in Su­per GT ne xts ea­son. How lon gha ve you wanted tor ace in Su­per GT?

It all started here [Motegi], at the end of 2006. I spoke to Ya­mamoto-san from Honda and said I’d love to have a go in a Su­per GT car at the Thanks Day. I didn’t ac­tu­ally drive on on the day, but they gave me half a day’s test­ing and it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. That led me to say­ing that I’d like to do the Suzuka 1000Km, which I did [this year], and I re­ally en­joyed it, so here we are. To­wards the end of this year Ya­mamoto-san asked me if I’d like to do a full year of rac­ing, and I said I’d love to do that. This year off from For­mula 1 has been the best thing I pos­si­bly could have done be­cause my love for rac­ing is back. The race I did in Au­gust was so ex­cit­ing, there was so much fighting, so much over­tak­ing, and it was also re­ally chal­leng­ing – there’s a lot of com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the man­u­fac­tur­ers, and a lot of tal­ented driv­ers, which is what you need in a sport. That’s what gets you ex­cited, that com­pe­ti­tion.

We un­der­stand there was a pos­si­bili tyo f you drivin gi n IMSA wit hpe nsk ea n dh onda. Why did you not d ot hat a sw ell?

We talked, but I was think­ing about the en­durance races, be­cause I wanted to do

Day­tona. But it was tricky fit­ting it in with Su­per GT be­cause you’d be all over the place dur­ing the sea­son, fly­ing be­tween the US and Ja­pan, and the test­ing sched­ules don’t fit ei­ther. We test a lot in Su­per GT at the start of the year and you can’t do both, re­ally. I wanted to do one thing prop­erly – I didn’t want to come into a sea­son and over-race. Eight races [in Su­per GT] isn’t a lot but it’s the per­fect amount to get you back into rac­ing again.

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