Jenson Button to headline Barbados Festival of Speed 2017

Former Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button will headline the second Barbados Festival of Speed, which is today (May 12) confirmed for Saturday, October 14, at Bushy Park Barbados. The one-day event will run from day into night, promising an epic new experience for spectators, thanks to the full-arena lighting currently being installed at the St Philip facility.

  Winner of 15 grands prix and a podium finisher on 50 occasions, Button won his title while racing for the new Brawn GP team in 2009, but moved to McLaren the following year as team-mate to Lewis Hamilton, who has starred in two major events at Bushy Park, Top Gear Festival Barbados 2014 and last year’s BFoS. Button retired from F1 at the end of last season, but remains a McLaren-Honda Ambassador, and on the team’s reserve list; he will stand in for Fernando Alonso at the Monaco GP (May 28), when the Spaniard makes his debut in the Indianapolis 500.

  In a recorded message, Button said: “I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be in Barbados for the 2017 Barbados Festival of Speed on October 14. I’m really looking forward to some fun driving challenges and I can’t wait to see you all. It’s going to an amazing event. Cheers!”

  Last year’s BFoS featured a wide-ranging programme of activities both on and off-track, which garnered significant international media coverage in both specialist motor sport and general media across the globe. While the format will evolve this year, with a mixture of old and new international content, there will as always be a place for all the clubs and disciplines in the island to be involved, circuit racing, drag racing and karting.

  Bushy Park Circuit Inc (BPCI) Operations Manager, Amy Willis said: “We are delighted that Jenson has agreed to headline the second Festival of Speed; he knows the island well from spending family holidays here in the past and tells us he is greatly looking forward to visiting again. And we wish him well at Monaco in just a couple of weeks.

  “We will be confirming further details of our plans in the coming months, as the various elements of the day’s activities fall into place. We have some exciting new overseas acts booked, some of which will make the very best use of our new lighting towers, along with some old favourites. I think we pretty much have something for everyone this year, making this first International night-time event truly memorable.

  “Tickets are now on sale, initially on-line, and we will soon start rolling out a series of Early Bird Ticket competitions through our Facebook page. These will be a key feature of our promotions in the coming months, with winners announced on a regular basis. The earlier patrons buy their tickets, the more chances they will have to win prizes – there will be a whole range of prizes, from ticket upgrades to the chance to participate in the show itself. Like us on Facebook to be among the first to know what is planned, and to be in with a chance of winning one of our fabulous prizes.”

Barbados Festival of Speed Saturday, October 14 2.00pm to 10.00pm (gates and ticket booths open 12.30pm)

General Admission - Bds $50; Child (7 to 12) Bds $25. Clubhouse (food and drink on sale) - Bds $150; Child (7 to 12) Bds $75. VIP (food and drink included) - Bds $500; Child (7 to 12) Bds $250. Corporate - Bds $100; Child (7 to 12) Bds $50. Children six and under are free. Hilti Hammer 4 x 4 Zone vehicle pass Bds $100, Cyclone 4 x 4 Zone vehicle pass Bds $100, plus General Admission pass for each occupant

 

Tickets are now available on-line at www.bushyparkbarbados.com and at the Bushy Park Circuit Office. Patrons can buy their advanced tickets using the Massy Card at the Bushy Park Circuit Office

Jenson Button MBE

Jenson Button’s early career followed a similar path to that of his future Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton. A kart racer from the age of eight, Button won the 1989 British Super Prix at the age of nine, then all 34 races in the 1991 British Cadet Kart Championship on his way to the title. Following further karting successes – he was the youngest European Super A Kart Champion – he won the British Formula Ford Championship, the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival and the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award, his prize including a test in a McLaren Formula 1 car.

  He drove the car at Silverstone at the end of 1999, when he also tested for the Prost team. A vacant race seat became available at Williams, however, and Frank Williams arranged a 'shoot-out' between Button and Formula 3000 racer Bruno Junqueira. When Button secured the drive, he became Britain's youngest-ever F1 driver.

  In 2000, he switched to Benetton, which became Renault, then moved to BAR in 2003, finishing third in the World Drivers' Championship a year later, with only the two Ferraris ahead of him. BAR was subsequently renamed Honda for 2006, during which Button claimed the first of his 15 GP victories, in Hungary.

  Following Honda’s withdrawal, he was left without a drive for 2009, until Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team and Button found himself in a highly-competitive, Mercedes-engined car. He went on to win a record-equalling six of the first seven races of the season, clinching the title in Brazil with one race in hand, having led on points all season; Brawn GP also won the World Constructors' Championship.

  In 2010, he moved to McLaren, partnering Hamilton, finishing fifth (2010) and second (2011), before taking his first pole for McLaren at the 2012 Belgian GP; he spent a seventh season with McLaren in 2016, his 17th in Formula 1, but announced in September 2016 that he would be giving up his 2017 seat. He remains a reserve driver and Ambassador for McLaren until the 2018 F1 season. From the 305 races that Button has started he has won 15, with a total of 50 podium finishes.

 

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