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‘Retired’ Jenson Button tied for lead in Japan sports car series, puts LA house up for sale

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After just over a year, retired Formula One driver Jenson Button has decided to put Los Angeles in his rearview mirror.

And the former F1 champ hopes to make a nice profit in the process. (Click on the story link nelow and check out the full photo gallery of Button’s home.)

According to a Los Angeles Times story, Button has placed his Brentwood neighborhood home on sale for $6.85 million. If he gets the asking price, it will be a about a $750,000 profit over the $6.1 million he paid for the two-story Cape Cod abode last year.

Button obviously had good taste when he first bought the house. Here’s how The Times described what will soon be Button’s former home:

“(It) offers 4,800 square feet of living space filled with an elegant mixture of hardwood floors, paneled walls, crown molding and modern lighting fixtures.”

The house has five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms.

Outside, the backyard has a relaxation patio that The Times said includes “a fire pit, a wet bar and a swimming pool with a spa fill out the backyard space.”

There’s no word where Button, 38, will be moving to, whether he’ll stay in the U.S. or move back home to his native Great Britain.

One potential possibility could be relocating to Japan. Button is currently competing in the Japanese Super GT Series, which wraps up Nov. 10-11 at Motegi.

Piloting a Honda NSX-GT, Button and teammate Naoki Yamamoto are tied for first place in the GT500 series, with one podium and two other top 10 finishes despite missing one of the first seven races.

One other name of note currently racing in the series is Felix Rosenqvist, who will drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in IndyCar in 2019, teaming with defending series champ Scott Dixon.

Button spent 18 years in F1, winning 15 races and the 2009 championship.

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Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.