BUTTON HINTS AT RALLYCROSS IN 2017
NATIONAL HOT ROD RACER
Jenson Button has confirmed his intention to compete in rallycross following his retirement from F1, speaking at the season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
Speaking to Channel 4 F1 presenters David Coulthard and Mark Webber, Button admitted that he is planning to compete in the mixed-surface discipline in response to a question from Webber about what the 2009 World Champion’s plans were for the Monday after the 2016 F1 season.
“We’ll talk about our rallycross team that we’re going to have in the future,” said Button, before being reminded by Coulthard that he was live on Channel 4.
“I think they’re [World Rallycross] racing this weekend as well. Hopefully we’ll get rallycross on Channel 4 as well because we need the big push.
“It’s a proper category. Seriously, there’s no rubbish in rallycross, it’s just full on sportsmanship, love and passion.”
Button has alluded to the fact he wants to compete in rallycross a number of times when questioned about his post-f1 career, but the C4 interview was the Englishman’s first solid indication that he plans to create his own team to compete in the discipline.
Button’s father John competed in rallycross in the late 1970s with a Volkswagen Beetle and then Golf, while Jenson sampled rallycross machinery for the first time when he drove James Harrold’s Retro Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle and JRM Racing’s World RX Mini Supercar for a BBC F1 feature last year, alongside Coulthard at Lydden Hill.
It isn’t known if Button’s continued deal with Mclaren into 2017 means he can only race a car from the team’s engine supplier Honda. If that were the case, the only Hondas currently competing in rallycross are Olsbergsmse’s Civic Coupes in the American-based Global Rallycross Championship, although the Swedish squad had intended to race in the Canadian round of the World Championship in the car this summer but were delayed by getting the car added to the list of cars not homologated by the FIA but eligible in Supercar prior to the event.