Former Formula One World Champion Jenson Button will compete in both the Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Revival this year for the JD Classics team.
The British ace will race a Jaguar XJR-9 at Le Mans, and although his car for the Goodwood Revival has yet to be revealed, it's likely to be something special: past cars to compete for JD Classics at the event include a Ford GT40 and Jaguar E-type lightweight.
The XJR-9 certainly has a storied history: chassis #688 was built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing in 1988 to replace that year’s Le Mans-winning car, and placed third at Brno that year, driven by Johnny Dumfries and Jan Lammers. A few months later, in September, it was driven to second at the Spa 1000km by Dumfries, Lammers and Martin Brundle.
Button's own career is more impressive still. Having started in F1 with Williams in 2000, he became the youngest ever points scorer in only his second race. After several years battling uncompetitive cars at Benetton and Renault, he took his BAR to third place in the 2004 drivers' championship, an achievement he bettered in 2009, when he won the title with Brawn GP.
Six years at McLaren followed his drivers' title, with Button finishing second in 2011 and fifth in both 2010 and 2012. In all, he started 306 Grands Prix – jointly the second most of any driver.
The JD Classics Competition Department has enjoyed plenty of its own success, with victories at the Spa Six Hours, Goodwood Members’ Meeting, Monaco Historique, Donington Historic Festival and Silverstone Classic to its name. At the last running of Le Mans Classic in 2016, the team claimed four victories, a podium finish and a pole position, while at 2017’s Goodwood Revival event it achieved one victory and two second-place finishes.
Derek Hood, JD Classics founder, said, “It’s an absolute pleasure for us to have Jenson racing with us twice this season.
"I know the talented engineers working in our race shop in Maldon are some of the best in the world, so Jenson will have all the technical support he needs.
"We’re proud sponsors of both Le Mans Classic and Goodwood Revival because we believe they deliver some of the best historic motorsport action on the calendar – having Jenson racing at both just goes to show why.”
The Le Mans Classic takes place from 6-8 July, with the Goodwood Revival running from 7-9 September.
Images: LAT Photographic; JD Classics