Former McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Jenson Button will make his debut in the Super GT Series this August, when he gets behind the wheel for Team Mugen, who are powered by Honda, at the final ever Suzuka 1000km event.
The Brit will be driving a Team Mugen NSX-GT, and will race alongside drivers Hideki Mutoh and Daisuke Nakajima in the GT500 car. The 37-year-old is raring to go and cannot wait to go racing again, after his recent return to F1 for the Monaco Grand Prix, where he stood in for Fernando Alonso, whilst the Spaniard took part in the Indy 500.
As with every race he takes part in, winning will be Button’s main goal, as he races in front of his many fans in Japan.
“After driving an NSX Concept-GT at the Honda Racing Thanks Day last December, I became interested in racing in Super GT.
“I spoke with Honda and they have given me the chance to race at the Suzuka 1000km. As a F1 driver and a member of Team Mugen, I will push to win.
“I am very much looking forward to racing in front of my Japanese fans again.”
Prior to competing at Suzuka, Button will get a chance to find his feet in the NSX-GT, during a tyre test on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
Team Mugen director Nagataka Tezuka advised that he was excited to have the 2009 F1 world champion on-board, in a race he is hoping the squad can bag a strong result.
“Jenson is an extremely talented and experienced driver, and we hope he will have a great race.
“Hideki Mutoh, Daisuke Nakajima, and Jenson Button is an exciting and formidable driver line-up and we are confident Team Mugen will be able to show its best performance at the final ever Suzuka 1000km.”
Whilst Operating Officer, Chief Officer, Brand and Communication Operations at Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Katsuhide Moriyama added.
“Welcome Jenson to the SUPER GT series. It will be a pleasure to see him driving the NSX-GT and I wish him an enjoyable race. With Jenson, F1 World Champion, we are confident that we will enhance our total performance as Honda to enable us to win in Suzuka.”
As with F1, Honda have struggled in comparison to their rivals across the last few seasons of Super GT, with Team Mugen drivers Mutoh and Nakajima scoring points just once so far this year, at the first round of the season.
The team currently sit seventeenth in the championship standings, and will be hoping Button’s vast experience in motorsport will help them to a rare victory in Suzuka.