Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 world champion, announced he will be competing in the 2019 Mint 400 off-road race in Las Vegas, Nevada, this March. Joined by Le Mans driver Chris Buncombe and managing director of Singer Vehicle Design Mazen Fawaz, he'll be driving a 6100-class trophy truck built by Brenthel Industries. Awesome.
According to Button, this is the first time he's ever competed off-road in his 30 years of racing. The Mint 400 uploaded a short video documenting the British driver's first test session with the car.
The truck Button and his teammates will be racing is a 4500-pound tube-frame purpose-built machine equipped with everything they need to make it across the desert. An LS3 V8 sends power to the rear wheels via a Turbo 400 transmission with close-ratio gears. There's a 65-gallon fuel tank, 37-inch BFGoodrich tires, six-piston brakes, and King coil-overs with 24 inches of travel in the front and 30 inches of travel in the rear.
This isn't the first time we've seen F1 drivers take their skills off-road. Kimi Raikkonen took a brief hiatus from the sport to compete in the WRC in 2009. Just this past winter, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas did the same thing for Rally Monte Carlo.
The 2019 Mint 400 starts March 8th, 2019 in Primm, Nevada. We're excited to see how Button can adapt to this sort of racing.