Button realises toughness of off-road racing after DNF from Vegas to Reno event
Former F1 racer Jenson Button admits to realisation of the toughness in off-road racing after his retirement from Vegas to Reno event last weekend.
Following a successful finish in 2019 Mint400 off-road challenge, Button was back in action in his Rocket Motorsport’s Brenthel Industries Truck in the Spec 6100 category, with navigator Terry Madden.
Although the names of his other teammates Maz Fawaz and Chris Buncombe were written alongside Button’s but it looks like the 2009 F1 champion was solo for the Vegas to Reno off-road event.
The event was organised by ‘Best In The Desert Racing Association’. It wasn’t the best of starts for Button in qualifying after some practice runs as the British racer only managed 23rd in the 6100 category among the 28 entries.
In the race as well, Button could only finish 96 miles after having a bad start. In order to make up time, the reigning Super GT champion pushed hard and hit a big rock upon reaching 86 miles.
That was it for Button with the damage too big to continue. “So, Vegas to Reno didn’t go as planned,” said Button. “I had an issue from the start and at mile86 I hit a pretty big rock trying to make up time.
“Our day ended at mile96 with too much damage from the rock impact to continue. A shame but as I’m coming to realise off road racing is tough. Like any type of sport you either give it your all or don’t bother turning up.
“I’d like to say a big thanks to navigator Terry Madden for keeping me from hitting more rocks and keeping the truck on the trail. Lastly a big thanks to Brenthel Industries for their support, so great to see them bringing so many newbies to off road including me.”
Button, who became a dad earlier this month, took to off-road challenges earlier this year with the idea to compete in Mint400 and Baja1000 – the latter which is scheduled for end of November.
He does pundit work for Sky Sports F1 while racing with Honda in Super GT. He pulled out of FIA World Endurance Championship with SMP Racing to concentrate on his family and other commitments.
Interestingly, the realisation for Button comes at a time when his former rival Fernando Alonso is now preparing himself to compete in world’s hardest cross-country Dakar Rally in 2020 with Toyota.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]