Super GT Champion and FIA WEC driver, Blancpain GT co-owner and 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button & Rocket Motorsport have announce their first venture into off-road racing with a Baja 1000 Trophy Truck project.
The team will enter a spec Trophy Truck in the 6100 class in the legendary Baja 1000 event in November and an initial warm up race, the Mint 400 in Las Vegas on March 7-10. The driver line up will see off-road racing debuts for Jenson Button, Chris Buncombe & Mazen Fawaz with the truck run by experienced, Californian based off-road constructor, Brenthel Industries.
Button, commented: “Driving this truck is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. We’ve only had very limited mileage testing off road but it feels like we need to learn everything from the beginning again! Undoubtedly the help and assistance we’ve had from the Brenthel Brothers, Jonathan & Jordan, has been invaluable but it’s definitely taking us out of our comfort zones!
“It’s certainly going to be a special challenge and something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. The Mint 400 is the biggest off road race in the US so I’m really looking forward to getting out in the desert in Vegas and seeing what it’s all about.
“Baja is likely to be something else! The idea of 20+ hours racing off road is so different than anything we’ve done before and having watched hours of on board already, the different types of terrain that we will encounter looks unbelievable!”.
Former Le Mans 24 Hour LMP2 Champion, Chris Buncombe said: “It was certainly eye opening jumping in the truck for the first time but it’s going to be a fantastic experience, especially to do such significant races with two of my closest friends, Jenson and Maz.
“Everything about the way a truck drives is so alien to someone coming from a circuit racing background, super soft, huge suspension travel and a lot of weight to turn and stop!
“For sure we all have lots to learn, but with racing 130 miles each in Vegas and a bit more testing, I’m sure we will feel more familiar by the time we arrive in Baja!”
With years of Porsche experience behind the wheel and now Managing Director of Singer Vehicle Design, Mazen Fawaz is also excited to take on this unique challenge: “I was lucky enough to have a little rally experience in a Porsche a few years back which I thoroughly enjoyed but I have to say, driving the truck is still very different to a rally car. The extreme terrain that these trucks fly across is just amazing and during the little amount of testing we’ve had, it’s clear to see just how many challenges there are during events like these. Around every corner and over every crest seems to be a rock in the road ready to end your race!
“Our aim in the Mint 400 & Baja 1000 will be to gain the valuable experience and to keep the truck together and out of trouble as it appears that the attrition rate is always pretty extreme in both events!”