Former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button has just won his first ever Super GT championship title together with Honda and teammate Naoki Yamamoto in the No.100 Team Kunimitsu Raybrig NSX-GT. The pair managed to secure the GT500 class season championship after finishing in third-place during the series final race held at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
“Today’s was really a tough race. But we were able to get 3rd place in the end and that gave us the title. For Naoki [Yamamoto]-san this is his second title of the season following the Super Formula title, but for me this is my first title in nine years [following the F1 championship title in 2009], so I am very happy. I am also very happy that we were able to get this first title for our team manager Kunimitsu Takahashi and his team that has competed so long and hard,” said Button.
It wasn't an easy win for Button and Yamamoto throughout the season however. The No.100 NSX-GT was not able to consistently finish at the podium. They did however secure their first victory in the 6th round of the season at Sportsland Sugo. The 8th and final race was not an easy one either. During qualifying they managed to secure a P2 start. However as the race unfolded, they slipped back and forth into numerous positions until finally settling for 3rd; enough to clinch the title.
The championship win for Button comes nine years after his first world champion in Formula 1 when he was still racing for Brawn GP in 2009. He also becomes the first rookie driver to be crowned the Super GT championship since 2005, which was also done by another ex-Formula 1 driver Tora Takagi. Coincidentally, Takagi also happened to be driving for Honda at the time of his Super GT win.