Button and Hendrick Motorsports’ Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for 24 Hours
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 champion, is set to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year as part of Hendrick Motorsports’ all-star line-up for the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 innovative car. Button will be racing alongside seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and 2010 Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller. The qualifying pace of the car exceeded expectations, being four seconds faster than the leading GTE Am cars. However, Button’s first experience of the Chevrolet left him wondering if it was the right decision to sign up. He said, « It’s funny because the first time I drove this car was at Daytona and, for the first five laps, I thought it was the biggest mistake of my life signing up to this! »
Rockenfeller echoed Button’s sentiments and says the ZL1 does not compare to anything else he’s previously driven. « It’s a quick car, you have to muscle it around the track, » he told Autosport. « It’s heavy but it’s so cool and fun. » The interest generated by the project has led to Chevrolet creating a special version of the ZL1 road car that will be named the Garage 56 Edition and is due to go on sale next year. The car will be limited to just 56 examples and its colour will match the livery of the racer.
The Tough Challenge Ahead
Although the qualifying pace of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 exceeded expectations, Button and the Hendrick team expect the race to be a tougher challenge. Button had not driven for two-and-a-half years, which is quite a long time for a racing driver. He said, « So it took a while to get used to it, but I absolutely love it. In most racing cars, you hit the brake pedal and then you modulate off of it. But, on this, you hit the brake pedal and you stay on the brake pedal all the way to the corner. In the Porsche Curves, you go from the first part to the second part and you see the body roll through there and also you see how aggressive we are. Through the corners there’s oversteer, and it’s a really fun car. »
The Thrill of NASCAR’s Le Mans Return
NASCAR is set to return to Le Mans, and they are aiming to thrill the audience. The interest generated by the project has led to Chevrolet creating a special version of the ZL1 road car that will be named the Garage 56 Edition and is due to go on sale next year. The car will be limited to just 56 examples and its colour will match the livery of the racer. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most prestigious races in the world, and NASCAR is looking to make a statement with their return. The race is set to be a tough challenge, but the Hendrick team is confident in their all-star line-up and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 innovative car.
Keywords: Jenson Button, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR, Garage 56 Edition, Porsche Curves, oversteer, NASCAR’s Le Mans Return.
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