Button tests World RX car, following in his father’s footsteps

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Jenson Button enjoyed his first taste of rallycross earlier this week when he got behind the wheel of a World RX car at Lydden Hill in England.

Button’s father, John, was an accomplished rallycross driver in the 1970s and 1980s, racing in the British Rallycross Championship.

Seeing John race out on track played a big role in Jenson’s own interest in motorsport and development as a driver, which ultimately led to him racing in Formula 1 and becoming world champion in 2009.

Whilst filming a feature for British TV, Button and ex-F1 driver David Coulthard took to the rallycross course at Lydden Hill in some classic and modern World RX cars.

“Today has been a mega experience and completely different to what I am used to,” Button said.

“You need a huge amount of skill to drive these cars – on your own it’s scary enough, never mind going up against another four or five other drivers!

“World RX is an exciting championship and it’s great to see the sport growing again like it was in the eighties both in the British and on the world scene. Everybody racing in single-seaters or in circuit racing regards rallycross as very professional and a lot of fun.”

Button also got the chance to try out a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, similar to the one his late father would have raced in, and acknowledged that it brought back great memories of his childhood.

“I grew up with rallycross,” Button said. “I used to watch my dad racing back in the mid-eighties and I used to love hearing the car.

“I would not have become an F1 world champion if it hadn’t been for my dad and the grassroots of rallycross – that was where I caught the motorsport bug.

“Today has brought back some really nice memories but since then, I’ve also enjoyed watching World RX on TV. I remember seeing the footage from the Finnish round of the championship last year and today confirmed just how great it is in real life too.”