After announcing his upcoming participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, JEnson Button goes a step further and announces that he will participate in three races of the Nascar Cup Series. The former 2009 Formula 1 World Champion will do so as part of a partnership with Mobil 1 Racing, with a #15 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang Mobil 1, with which he will debut this March 26 at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin (Texas). The next two appointments will be at the Chicago Street Course (July 2) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (August 13). Promotional and marketing support comes from Stewart-Haas Racing, which will accompany him on his first adventure in the championship at 43 years old.
“I am excited about the new challenge and when I throw myself into something, I do it one hundred percent. I don’t do it just for fun. I want to be competitive, and I know that it will take a bit of time to be so. That’s why doing these three races works very well this season”, comments the Briton, who takes on this challenge even knowing that racing with cars of these characteristics “is very different from what I’m used to”. “It’s a lot heavier, with a lot less power and basically no downforce. It has a sequential gearbox in which you have to put your foot down on the accelerator, so there are many things to learn in a very short time”, he admits, because these tests will be good training for his great challenge: the 24 Hours of Le Mans as one of the three main drivers of the Garage 56 project alongside seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson; Le Mans and Daytona winner Mike Rockenfeller; and substitute coach Jordan Taylor. They will compete behind the wheel of a modified Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 based on the next generation cars from the Nascar Cup Series.
Reunion with Raikkonen
Button will not be the only one to return to his old ways. Kimi Raikkonen confirms his return to the Nascar Cup Series with a PROJECT91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Finn and the Briton will meet on March 26 in Austin, although for the 2007 F1 champion, it will not be the first time he has driven one of these cars. In fact, this will be his second time in the championship after making his debut with the same team on August 21 last year. “I had a fantastic time in NASCAR. There was a lot to learn in a very short time, but everyone helped me a lot, the competition was a great challenge. This time I will be racing on a circuit that I am familiar with, so the learning curve will not be as steep. I want to have fun, but also do my best.” comments the pilot, who achieved one of his 21 victories at the Circuit of the Americas, in October 2018.