The 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button is to follow in his dad’s footsteps with an entry into the Nitro Rallycross series with Xite Energy Racing, driving an electric FC1-X.
Button will be teaming up with Oli Bennett, who he met while competing in Extreme E last year. Oli is also a Nitro Rallycross regular, so his experience will give JB some valuable insights. The two have been getting some early preparations in, testing at Pembrey in Wales in Xite’s Mini and Ford Fiesta rallycross cars.
Of course, Button’s dad John famously contested the British Rallycross Championship in the 1970s, driving Volkswagen Beetles and Golfs with the support of his VW-Audi dealer and tuner. He was runner-up in 1976.
Jenson has been a man of many motorsport disciplines in the time since his retirement from F1 in 2016. He’s tried his hand at the Baja 1000 in 2019, he’s won the Japanese Super GT championship in a Honda NSX in 2018 and debuted at Le Mans with SMP Racing in 2018. He started and also drove for his own Extreme E team, as well as forming a British GT outfit. He’s expected to make a return to Le Mans in 2023 and is often quoted on his desire to keep racing, alongside his commitments as senior advisor to Williams and commentator in F1.
The FC1-X made its debut at the Race of Champions in February and is due to race in its own class, in parallel to supercars, rather than against them. The Nitro Rallycross series is due to expand to 10 races, with the first round of the 2022-23 season kicking off at Lydden Hill in June.