- Jenson Button's car [Copyright: FormulaRapida.net, Jenson Button]

Button left stranded for 17 hours after car failure in Baja1000

The former F1 racer ended up in a remote area with no quick help.

35w ago


Jenson Button did not have a great end to his SCORE Baja1000 debut after spending nearly 17 hours stranded in a remote area due to broken vehicle.

The 2009 F1 champion Button had a successful start to his off-road career after he managed to finish the 2019 Mint400 in his white/green-liveried Rocket Motorsport’s Brenthel Industries Truck, in the Spec 6100 category, with navigator Terry Madden.

In his preparation for the 2019 Baja1000 event, Button took part in the Vegas to Reno competition in August, where he was forced to retire after hitting a rock. The British racer admitted that the retirement was hard on him but he learnt a valuable lesson.

His focus shifted to Baja1000, which took place between November 19-23 in Baja California (Mexico). Button entered the Trophy Truck Spec category with Madden as his navigator in the #203 Chevrolet - thereby moving on from Brenthel Industries Truck.

It started off well for the duo but not for long as they stopped after covering 235 miles. The retirement wasn't an issue as much as the area he stopped, which did not have an easy access. This forced Button and Madden to remain there for nearly 17 hours.

"We come away from the Baja1000 with a story to tell, not the one we wanted but a great Baja story all the same," reflected Button. "It started well, we went past five moving trucks and then another seven-eight broken or crashed [ones].

"We found a really good rhythm of looking after the truck when needed and hammering the fast flowing sections. At mile 235, Madden, my co driver, and I heard a really loud clatter and lost drive. We realised that we had broken the differential.

"It was strange as all temps were good and we looked after the truck but hey this happens. The problem was that we had found the most remote place to breakdown which meant we spent the whole night and a total of 17 hours under the stars.

"The only people we saw were other racers asking us to wipe their dirty light bars clean. We were fueled by energy bars and a fire that needed constant help as all we could find was twigs Terry and I could just enjoy the moment of peacefulness by telling stories which always ended with 'its Baja' A life experience but not the one I expected but I’ll take it.

"But a big thanks to all our sponsors as without them the Baja1000 would not have been possible and also big thanks to our small but awesome crew which features Chris Buncombe, Maz Fawaz, Mike Kim, and Ryan Scott."


[Image courtesy: FormulaRapida.net, Jenson Button] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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Comments (10)

  • Seventeen hours!

      8 months ago
  • Would love to hear the radio conversation if that would have had happened to Hamilton...

      8 months ago
    • There wouldn't be a radio in these cars!

        8 months ago
    • Read the following from Wikipedia about the Baja:

      Each year there are reports of spectators sabotaging or booby-trapping the course by digging holes, blocking river flow, or burying and hiding obstacles. Racers are warned to beware of...

      Read more
        8 months ago
  • I’ve been to the desert - the REAL deserts here in the Middle East. I can see 17 hours being lost easily, even if someone knows your route. People don’t seem to know how hard it is to see all that far, even when you are looking for someone. I once tried to meet someone 4x4ing, with a radio and a GPS. It took a hour, despite being literally next to them on the map. To FIND someone else and recover their truck - yikes.

    Button got lucky!!

      8 months ago