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Jenson Button to race in World Endurance Championship in 2024 season with Jota Porsche team

The 2009 Formula 1 world champion and Sky Sports F1 pundit has signed up to for his first full-time racing programme in five years, in the leading hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship; Button to race in the gold of the Jota team's Porsche 963

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Jenson Button is set to drive in the leading hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship. He'll be racing in the gold of the Jota team's Porsche 963.

2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button will race in a full season of the World Endurance Championship in 2024.

The Sky Sports F1 pundit has signed up to drive in the eight-round season, which features the Le Mans 24 Hours as its centrepiece, in the Hertz-backed Jota team's Porsche 963 as part of the British team's newly-expanded WEC hypercar programme.

Button, 43, who has has driven in an array of motorsport categories in addition to his TV work since retiring from F1 in 2017, will share driving duties in the team's #38 car at each WEC event with fellow Briton Phil Hanson and Denmark's Oliver Rasmussen.

The team's two Porsches race in gold, a colour scheme that Button hailed as "awesome".

Image: The Jota Porsche 963 that Jenson Button will be driving in 2024, in testing action in November

"I've been racing every year since I left F1 in something," said Button to Sky Sports.

"This year I did three races in NASCAR, I also did Petit Le Mans, which is the same cars as I'll race next year in WEC, and I've absolutely loved it. But I always feel that there's something missing.

"I'm a guy that loves to do a championship and I love to fight my way through a season. The emotional rollercoaster that you have in a championship. So I thought this is the time to get back in to doing a full season of racing.

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"I've kept back busy with my racing; my fitness has been great. So I'm ready for it. And a team like Hertz Team Jota, they are a true out-and-out racing team. That's what I love about them.

"In endurance racing now there is balance of performance so, whether you like it or not, they balance what the cars can do. So being with a great team is what is most important and they are definitely a great team that can take it to the manufacturers."

Endurance racing's Le Mans showpiece takes place on June 15-16 and Button, who has raced at la Sarthe twice before, said: "The Ferraris, Toyotas and the Peugeot are different to the rest, they are four-wheel drive and build all their own systems, but the balance of performance is pretty good so they are pretty similar [to the LMDh cars, of which Jota's is one].

"So there is every chance we can fight for a win at Le Mans - otherwise I wouldn't be doing it. I'm not interested in just being on the grid after the career I've had. The team were leading Le Mans for many laps this year until they had an incident. I love that race and that's the big one. But if you win any race on the WEC calendar, that's pretty cool."

Frederic Lequien, the CEO of WEC, described it as "an honour to have Jenson Button - a hugely successful driver across many racing disciplines - competing full-time in the WEC next year".

The WEC season starts in Qatar on March 2. The calendar also features a race in November at Brazil's Interlagos circuit, where Button won his F1 title.

Former Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott this week signed to partner fellow Briton Will Stevens, who has been with Jota since 2022, and France's Norman Nato in Jota's other car, the #12.

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Button, a 15-time grand prix winner, has twice raced at Le Mans, in 2018 and 2023, while he also competed in three additional rounds of WEC in the former season and achieved a podium finish in China.

Since retiring from F1 six years ago after a stellar 306-race engineer, Button has driven in numerous motorsport disciplines - including endurance, GT, rallycross, Extreme E, and NASCAR - and won Japan's Super GT championship in 2018.

Button first drove the Porsche 963 he will race in next year at October's Petit Le Mans endurance event in Georgia, USA.

"The race was great, I got to grips with it really well," said Button, who finished fifth with JDC-Miller MotorSports.

"There are so much electronics, it's very different to what I'm used to which takes a bit of time to get used to for everyone.

[There are] 38 pages I think of how you play with all the buttons on the steering wheel and I never had that in F1. So there's a lot to learn still but I definitely have the base there of what the car is and what the car can do."

In January, he will also race in the Daytona 24 Hours.

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