Getty Images

Jenson Button to make Super GT debut at final Suzuka 1000km

Leave a comment

2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button will make his debut in the Japanese Super GT championship in August with the Honda-backed Team Mugen.

Button stepped away from racing in F1 at the end of last year, but made a surprise return in Monaco last weekend while full-time McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso competed at the Indianapolis 500.

Button has stressed time and time again that he is not interested in returning to F1 full-time, but said he would like to try other events including NASCAR and Le Mans.

Button revealed in Monaco that he would be testing a Super GT car this week, and was on Friday confirmed to be part of Team Mugen’s line-up for Suzuka 1000km.

“After driving an NSX Concept GT at the Honda Racing Thanks Day last December, I became interested in racing in Super GT,” Button said.

” I spoke with Honda and they have given me the chance to race at the Suzuka 1000km. As an F1 driver and a member of Team Mugen, I will push to win.”

Button will race alongside Hideki Mutoh and Daisuke Nakajima at Suzuka for what will be the final running of the 1000km race.

The race will be replaced in 2018 by a timed 10-hour event for FIA GT3 and GT300 machinery, and will no longer be part of the Super GT calendar.

The 2017 Suzuka 1000km takes place on August 27.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
Leave a comment

Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool