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Jenson Button is going to Le Mans!
’09 F1 World Champion will race in LMP1 for SMP Racing
Fact fans, get ready to add another name to the long list of current and former F1 drivers who’ve raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 2009 World Champion Jenson Button will compete in the full “Super Season” of the WEC for Russian privateers SMP Racing, who contest the non-hybrid sub-division of the LMP1 category. This means Jenson won’t be in direct competition with former teammate Fernando Alonso, who unlike Button will have hybrid power.
Button will continue to compete in Japan’s Super GT series alongside the WEC, skipping next week’s WEC season-opener at Spa to compete in its second-round. So Le Mans will be his first race. Talk about diving in at the deep end, Jenson.
Sharing the BR Engineering BR1 are Mikhail Aleshin and fellow former F1-driver Vitaly Petrov. Co-developed by BR and Dallara, it has a twin-turbo V6 with 700bhp, a six-speed sequential transmission and a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis.
On SMP’s Russian-language website, Jenson says he’s “looking forward” to the race and that “with [his teammates] and the experience that we have accumulated in different racing series, as well as with the fantastic experience of the team in the endurance race, we will have a wonderful chance to fight in the front ranks and claim victory”. We’re rooting for you, Jenson.