2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button will be joining Hertz Team JOTA for the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship, Sam Hignett’s Frant-based team has announced today.
Button will be joining Phil Hanson and Oliver Rasmussen in the iconic “Mighty #38” in the now-California-based driver’s first season in WEC since 2018 when he drove the #11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 alongside Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin for four rounds.
Since the 43-year-old driver stepped back from Formula One, Button has remained active in the sport with extensive media commitments and racing programmes. Alongside Chris Buncombe and Bob Neville, Button was part of Jenson Team Rocket RJN which competed in national and international GT racing series. Button also drove at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of the Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Garage 56 entry, alongside teammates Jimmy Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller. The trio finished 39th overall, completing 285 laps.
Button will be racing extensively in 2024 as he is already confirmed to drive with Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti alongside Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz and Colton Herta in the #40 Acura ARX-06 for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Hertz Team JOTA entered the WEC Hypercar class in 2023 and will be moving up to a two-car entry for the 2024 season.
Speaking to EnduranceandGT earlier in the week, Hertz Team JOTA director Sam Hignett explained the reasoning behind expanding the team’s Hypercar programme to two cars.
“We’ve always had the belief that WEC has the potential to be the second biggest motorsport series in the world and I think it’s going that way,” said Sam Hignett. “We see it as a very valuable entity and therefore our entries are very valuable so it was always our goal to maintain our two entries.
“When the ACO announced that the LMP2 class was going to be leaving the Championship, our plan of one LMP2 entry and one Hypercar entry went out the window and we had to plan for a two-Hypercar team,”
Today’s announcement sees the driver line-ups for both entries now confirmed. Long-standing JOTA pilot Will Stevens will drive the #12 car alongside Callum Ilott and Norman Nato while Phill Hanson, Oliver Rasmussen and Jenson Button will pilot “Mighty 38”.
Button has already gained valuable track-time in the Porsche 963, having driven the #5 JDC-Miller Motorsports entry with teammates Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm. The trio finished 5th.
“I believe both of our line-ups are some of the best in the Hypercar field,” said Sam Hignett.
The 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship season gets underway in Qatar on March 2nd.