HISTORIC NEWS

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But­ton goes historic rac­ing

Jenson But­ton will fol­low the lead of David Coulthard by go­ing historic rac­ing this sum­mer and will race at both the Le Mans Clas­sic in July and the Good­wood Re­vival in Septem­ber.

In an ar­range­ment with lead­ing historic race team JD Clas­sics, But­ton will race a Group C Jaguar XJR-9 at Le Mans and a 1960s sports car at Good­wood. A seat in the team’s light­weight Jaguar E-type for the two-driver TT race at Good­wood seems prob­a­ble.

The XJR-9 is chas­sis 688, a car built by Tom Walkin­shaw Rac­ing in 1988 to re­place that year’s Le Mans-win­ning car. In July of that sea­son chas­sis 688 fin­ished third at Brno, driven by Johnny Dum­fries and Jan Lam­mers, and in Septem­ber was sec­ond in the Spa 1000km with Dum­fries, Lam­mers and Martin Brun­dle.

Derek Hood, the founder JD Clas­sics, com­mented: “It’s an ab­so­lute plea­sure for us to have Jenson

BUT­TON HAS NEVER RACED ON THE GOOD­WOOD CIR­CUIT, THOUGH HE’S BEEN A REG­U­LAR AT THE FES­TI­VAL OF SPEED. HE’LL ALSO BE RAC­ING AT LE MANS FOR THE FIRST TIME

rac­ing with us. We’re spon­sors of both events be­cause we be­lieve they de­liver some of the best historic mo­tor sport ac­tion on the cal­en­dar – hav­ing Jenson rac­ing at both just goes to show why.”

But­ton has never raced on the Good­wood cir­cuit be­fore, though he has been a reg­u­lar at the Fes­ti­val of Speed in the grounds of Good­wood House. He will also be rac­ing at Le Mans for the first time.

The life of dou­ble World Cham­pion Jim Clark was hon­oured dur­ing a mov­ing com­mem­o­ra­tion at Don­ing­ton Park on Satur­day 7 April when as many as 500 peo­ple gath­ered on the start line.

The Historic Sports Car Club’s open­ing race meet­ing of the sea­son fell ex­actly 50 years from the day when Clark died in a For­mula 2 ac­ci­dent at Hock­en­heim.

Driv­ers, team mem­bers, mar­shals, of­fi­cials and spec­ta­tors went to the grid to show their re­spect, where the mov­ing sound of bag­pipes was the lead in to a minute’s si­lence for one of Bri­tain’s great­est driv­ers.

At the head of the grid was the Lo­tus 18 grand prix car now owned by John Chisholm. Chas­sis 372 is an ex­works car and was used by Clark to score his first ma­jor sin­gle-seater win at Brands Hatch in the sum­mer of 1960.

It has taken ex-pat New Zealan­der War­ren Briggs 40 years to com­plete his Mclaren cir­cle, but this sum­mer he will race a For­mula 1 Mclaren M29C af­ter work­ing on the ini­tial build of the M29.

Fresh in the UK in 1978, Briggs worked at Mclaren and then went on to race ex­ten­sively, most re­cently in Ford Mus­tangs. He al­ways han­kered for an M29 and now has M29-2 as raced by Patrick Tam­bay and John Wat­son in pe­riod. “The car is fan­tas­tic, I feel very priv­i­leged to be able to own it let alone race it,” said Briggs.

But­ton’s historic rac­ing de­but will be in the XJR-9 that was sec­ond at Spa in 1998 (above right)

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