Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula One World Champion, will take part in August’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, set for the weekend of August 17-120 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California. The McLaren ambassador will make demonstration runs in the McLaren M23-Ford (above, photo courtesy of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) that Emerson Fittipaldi drove to the 1974 World Championship, the car that helped give McLaren the first of its eight F1 Constructors Championships.
“It’s always special to drive a grand prix car with an illustrious history, and the M23 wrote one of the most significant chapters in motorsport history throughout much of the 1970s,” said Button, who stopped driving competitively at the end of last season. “It’s a somewhat strange sensation to drive a car from this era. You sit much more upright in the cockpit, and you feel like you could almost reach out of the cockpit and touch the front wheels, but once you drive it, you quickly start to understand what made it so successful — it’s incredibly easy to drive, has a really consistent balance, and plenty of feel. Everything you put into it, you get out of it, which is very rewarding for a driver.”
During its five-season F1 career, McLaren’s M23 contested 80 GPs, winning 16 times and earning two drivers World Championships (1974 and 1976) and one constructors crown (1974).
“We are honored to host Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and showcase a car with such great history,” said Gillian Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula One is the pinnacle of racing advancement and Jenson’s spirited exhibition laps will provide a superb link to motorsport’s past that fans will assuredly enjoy.”
This year’s Reunion honors the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior and the 70th anniversary of Ferrari, as well as celebrating the 60th anniversary of the raceway itself. For complete information please visit www.MazdaRaceway.com.