Jenson Button

Posted by Ian Reynolds on 27th Feb 2024

On the 22nd March 2011, Vodafone, who at the time were sponsoring the McLaren Mercedes F1 team and also the Triple Eight Holden Commodore V8 Supercar team, put on a demonstration for the media and public at Mount Panorama. The drivers were Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes.
I was fortunate to not work on this day and together with some friends from the Lithgow Vintage Motor Club, we went up to watch this one off event.
We took position at the end of Pit straight and at the bottom of Mountain Straight.
After some time in the pits readying the cars, Jenson came out first in the F1 car and did four laps. He then drove Craig's Commodore and did five laps.
Following this Craig took over the F1 car and did five laps.
As all this was for demonstration only, both drivers were not going full tilt, however lap times were still competitive for the day, with both drivers doing around two minutes in the F1.
The sound of the McLaren was just incredible, being able to hear it as far away as Forest Elbow and accelerating down Conrod Straight.
Later Jenson said, that given a full tilt he could probably lap at 1 minute 50 seconds.
After the demonstration both drivers were available in Pit Straight for autographs and interviews.
It was just a great day, especially as open wheeler race cars had not raced on the track since the 1970's.
Ian Reynolds