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)