Button denied first UK victory in 20 years at Goodwood Revival

Jenson Button was denied his first victory on UK soil in over 20 years in the RAC Tourist Trophy at the Goodwood Revival.

Jenson Button, Jaguar E-Type

Driving Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey’s Jaguar E-type, the 2009 Formula 1 world champion jumped poleman Bill Shepherd’s AC Cobra on the run to Fordwater on the opening lap.

Button streaked away from the field and was 13.9 seconds clear when the first safety car was called. He immediately started building a lead at the restart, breaking the GT lap record and leaving it at 1m23.799s.

The 15-time grand prix winner was more than 20s clear when he pitted just over 20 minutes into the one-hour race to hand over to Adrian’s son Harrison Newey. But Newey Jr completed just one lap before gearbox problems forced the car to retire.

“What an amazing job Adrian has done with this car,” said Button, whose last win on home ground was the British F3 encounter at Silverstone in October 1999. “It was fun.

“When you get in a car that gives you confidence you can push hard. Obviously you want to win, but it’s such a great event.”

Shortly after the E-type’s retirement, the TVR Griffith 400 in which 2003 Le Mans winner Guy Smith had risen to second early on was crashed by Mike Whitaker, bringing out another safety car.

Jenson Button, Jaguar E-Type

Jenson Button, Jaguar E-Type

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

That set up a shootout between Romain Dumas, in the Cobra started by Shepherd, British Touring Car star Gordon Shedden in the similar car started by Andrew Smith and nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen in Fred Wakeman’s Lister-Jaguar coupe.

Kristensen caught the leading duo just as Shedden snatched the lead “after taking the brave pills” on the back straight. The Dane then lost control at Lavant, leaving the two Cobras alone at the front.

Dumas kept up the pressure on Shedden before pulling off with just four minutes to go. Shedden was left to take his third RAC TT victory at Goodwood, following up his 2015-16 E-type wins.

Kristensen was one of the fastest drivers in the closing stages and recovered to second on the road, only to drop to fifth thanks to a 10s penalty for pitlane speeding. Two hours after the event, the penalty was rescinded and Kristensen/Wakeman were confirmed in second.

That meant tin-top star Rob Huff took third in the E-type of Richard Mein, with the Cobra of Philip Kadoorie/Marino Franchitti fourth.

NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson took fifth in the Cobra started by Shaun Lynn. Despite an off, Johnson looked comfortable in the Cobra and set times (1m25s/1m26s) comparable to all the frontrunners bar Button.


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