Jenson Button is a busy guy these days. He owns and operates (though no longer drives for) an FIA Extreme E championship team. He co-owns the Radford brand, which is a coachbuilder developing a new Lotus-based supercar, as well as the racing school formerly known as Bondurant. He’s spent recent years doing various other events, like the Baja 1000, British GT, and vintage racing. He’s also a senior advisor for Williams Grand Prix as of last year, and occasionally does some announcing work for Sky Sports. On Wednesday, Button confirmed he will be joining Xite Energy Racing, which is expanding to a two-car operation, for the 2022-23 season of Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Rallycross series.
Button, 42, will pilot the team’s new all-electric FC1-X rallycross car in Nitro Rallycross’ new top-of-the-series Group E class. He will join Nitro Rallycross and fellow Extreme E team boss/driver Oliver Bennett, the founder of Xite Energy, for the full season. Button recently tested the Mini Cooper Bennett drove in the 2021 edition of Nitro Rallycross, as well as a new Ford Fiesta Supercar purchased by the team, and seemed to really enjoy it. At least enough to jump onboard the expanding series.
“I’m looking forward to racing Nitro RX with Xite Energy,” said Button. “A team which has great experience of not just rallycross but also racing electric vehicles. And I get to race alongside my mate Oli. He’s a great character, great for the sport and comes with a lot of experience of competing on the dirt. Hopefully I can learn that side from him and he can learn from my circuit driving. It’s going to be a fun partnership, but I think it’s going to be a good partnership as well and hopefully we can take it to the big boys in rallycross.”
The series recently announced an expanded ten-round calendar kicking off in June with a return to the legendary Lydden Hill rallycross circuit in England. While the championship was only held in the U.S. for 2021, it is expanding with three European rounds, plus two in Canada and one in Saudi Arabia. There will also be a commitment to getting competitors to run on different surfaces and in unique environments. Add in the new 1070-horsepower all-electric top class, and you’ve got a series that piques the interest of heavy hitters and big names like Button.
Button says he’s interested in carrying on the family tradition, as his father was a rallycrosser in the 1970s and 80s.