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Button was stranded in the desert for "17 hours"

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Button was stranded in the desert for "17 hours"
By:
Nov 25, 2019, 3:14 PM

Jenson Button spent "17 hours" stranded in the desert on his off-road racing debut, as his car broke a differential during the Baja 1000.

The 2009 Formula 1 champion – driving a spec-Trophy Truck in colours similar to the Brawn he drove to his F1 title – was contesting what is one of the most prestigious off-road events in motorsport, open to a wide range of machinery.

Button hit trouble in the Ensenada, Mexico-based event when he and his co-driver heard a "loud clatter" and lost all drive.

"We come away from the Baja 1000 with a story to tell, not the one we wanted but a great Baja story all the same," Button posted on Instagram.

"Started well, passed five moving trucks and then another seven/eight broken or crashed, found a really good rhythm of looking after the truck when needed and hammering the fast flowing sections.

"At mile 235 Terry Madden my co driver and I heard a really loud clatter and lost drive, we had broken the differential.

"Strange as all temps were good and we looked after the truck but hey this happens, the problem was we had found the most remote place to breakdown which meant we spent the whole night and a total of 17 hours under the stars.

"The only people we saw were other racers asking us to wipe their dirty light bars clean.

"Fuelled by energy bars and a fire that needed constant help as all we could find was twigs, Terry and I could just enjoy the moment of peacefulness by telling stories which always ended with "its Baja".

"A life experience but not the one I expected. But I'll take it."

Since retiring from F1 following a long stint with McLaren, Button has contested SUPER GT in Japan, winning the title in 2018, and also took part in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season with the SMP Racing LMP1 outfit.

He has ended both programmes, but said earlier this month he plans to return to the WEC when the top-class hypercar rules are introduced.

IndyCar runner-up Alexander Rossi also contested the Baja 1000, won by motorcycle rider Justin Morgan, and led before a minor roll stunted his progress.

He was able to continue, though he and co-drivers Jeff Proctor and Pat Dailey ultimately retired.

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About this article

Series Offroad
Drivers Jenson Button Shop Now
Author Jack Benyon