Jenson Button joins all-star Le Mans NASCAR line-up

30th January 2023
Ethan Jupp

Jenson Button, 2009 F1 world champion, is to join the Le Mans driver lineup for the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR that’s due to take to La Sarthe this year. Button will be sharing the car with fellow motorsport veterans from across stock car and endurance racing, Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.


“As a lifelong racing fan, I have always dreamed of racing certain cars, with and against certain drivers and competing in certain events,” Button said. 

“In June, a number of those dreams will come true in one event when I get to bring NASCAR to the world stage alongside my pals Jimmie and ‘Rocky’ at the 100th running of the most prestigious race in the world."

“Since the beginning of the Garage 56 project, it has been our goal to partner with the top racers in the world to represent us in Le Mans,” said Jim France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. 

“The line-up of Jimmie, ‘Rocky’ and Jenson is everything we could have dreamed of — three elite drivers who have won at the highest levels of motorsports worldwide.”

The 47 year-old Johnson, a seven-time Cup series champion, had previously retired from full-time NASCAR racing in 2020. This will be his first appearance at Le Mans, albeit in relatively familiar machinery.

Rockenfeller meanwhile has the requisite experience to lead the team with his 2010 overall Le Mans win leading a range of racing achievements spanning the last three decades. In the Camaro at Le Mans 2023, two of his racing worlds collide, given he made his NASCAR Cup Series debut last year.

The project was announced early last year, as a tribute to Bill France Sr, the NASCAR founder who was the first to bring stock car racing machinery across the pond, to Le Mans, 47 years ago. The car is a collaborative effort between Nascar, Chevrolet, IMSA, Goodyear and Hendrick Motorsports.

The car has been in development publicly since last August, with the more representable second prototype now doing the rounds, most recently around Daytona. The car is a heavily modified version of the new-generation Camaro ZL1 NASCAR, with a revised chassis, suspension and engine compared to the latest Bowtie-wearing stock car.

It’s lighter, produces more downforce, a paddle-operated transmission, traction control and more, to make it more suited to the 24-hour enduro around La Sarthe. No doubt the car will evolve a little further in the coming six months before the flag drops. Even with Button’s range of projects he’s been involved with over the last couple of years, from a Japanese GT championship win, to rallycross, to historic racing at our own Goodwood Motor Circuit, this Frankensteinian Camaro has to be the quirkiest yet.

  • Jenson Button

  • Le Mans 2023

  • Garage 56

  • Chevrolet

  • Camaro

  • Jimmie Johnson

  • Mike Rockenfeller

  • le_mans_nascar_goodwood_20022023_list.jpeg


    Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR Le Mans racer revealed

  • lemans23_entry_list_hypercars_goodwood_27022023_list.jpg


    2023 Le Mans 24 Hours entry list revealed

  • lemans_2023_goodwood_12062023_list.jpg


    Le Mans 2023 | 8 talking points