Jenson Button was a terrific Formula 1 driver. Over the span of a 17-year F1 career, Button stood on the podium 50 times. He won it all in 2009, racing for Brawn GP. In 2017, Jenson hung up his F1 hat and has since transitioned to piloting Super GT cars over in Japan and dabbling in prototype-tier endurance racing. He’s also clearly eager to get his race suit filthy… filthy with the sort of dirt that comes when you’re ripping a 6100-class trophy truck across the stage of the Mint 400.
Button has teamed up with Le Mans racer Chris Buncombe and the Managing Director for Singer Mazen Fawaz. The trio will run the LS3-powered beast through the Nevada desert. Before they get to that point, Button and his team are testing the truck in the California desert. He admits that he’s “a total duck out of water” with regards to racing in the dirt.
This is a race that has gotten way faster as the sport has progressed. The first race was held way back in 1968, with the winning team finished with a time of 16:01.32. Last year, Bryce Menzies and Jake Povey completed the race in 5:52.03.
How will Jenson and his team handle the bumps and jumps? He’s a former F1 champion who can probably handle anything with wheels and an engine, but this is still quite a test for the English hot shoe.
The Great American Desert Race gets underway starting on Wednesday March 6th. The green flag starts flying the following Saturday. And 6100-class trucks run on Sunday afternoon.