The 2009 champion made his debut in the Baja 1000 rally raid event this weekend, only for a car problem to leave him having an impromptu camping trip with his co-driver
It seems like if you were a regular McLaren driver from 2015-16, some sort of bug went around that caused you to make your off-road racing debut this year. Fernando Alonso has been doing plenty in preparation for next year’s Dakar, and Button spent his weekend racing in the Baja 1000 in Mexico.
Or rather, he was hoping to, only to be thwarted by a breakdown. That’s not uncommon in long-distance rallies. What is unusual is that Button and co-driver Terry Madden were so far away from anywhere that they had to camp out by their truck - for 17 hours. Writing about the experience on Instagram, Button said:
“At mile 235 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.”
To add insult to injury, other competitors did stop - but only to ask for help themselves. Button continued:
“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 “it’s Baja”.
“A life experience but not the one I expected, but I’ll take it.”
On the plus side, having driven for McLaren in the early years of the Honda partnership, at least he already had plenty of experience of being stranded…