Jenson Button retraced his father’s footsteps when he got behind the wheel of a JRM Racing-prepared MINI RX at Lydden Hill recently and the event was featured in the BBC coverage of last weekends Russian Grand Prix (available to watch on BBC Catch Up tv about 20 minutes in).
John Button, who died in January last year, was runner-up in the British Rallycross Championship in 1976 driving a Volkswagen Beetle.
“I grew up with rallycross,” said his son after driving a similar car at Lydden on Wednesday, “it was where it all started for me when I was four or five-years-old.”
“I used to watch my dad racing back in the mid-eighties and I loved hearing the car – it was so loud! I wouldn’t be F1 world champion if it hadn’t been for my dad and the grassroots of rallycross – that was where I caught the motor sport bug.”
Button and former F1 driver David Coulthard drove a selection of rallycross machinery as part of an upcoming feature for the BBC. The pair also sampled current machinery including a 500bhp Mini and a 600bhp Citroen DS3.
“It was a mega experience today and completely different to what I’m used to,” said Button. “Both cars were great fun to drive – they’re a lot more powerful than when my dad raced, but the same principles apply and you need real skill to master them.”
“For Jenson, I think this was a little walk down memory lane,” Coulthard reflected, “it was John Button giving up his own racing career to focus on Jenson’s that allowed him to fulfil his dreams.”
“For me, it was a fascinating, adrenaline-fuelled day. I’ve always enjoyed trying out different sports to appreciate how skilled their competitors are.”
The MINI RX has already proven itself to be a formidable rallycross package during its short competitive life. It won a heat race at its first event at the Nurburgring in Germany and then qualified for the final at the World RX of Great Britain in May. - See more at: MINI RX :: Group News