Jenson Button has completed his first LMP1 test with SMP Racing ahead of the Briton’s 24 Hours of Le Mans debut next month.
The 2009 Formula One world champion got behind the wheel of the No. 11 BR Engineering BR1 AER at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France.
Button is set to make his first appearance at the French endurance classic on June 16-17 in a lineup with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin, and in the same class as former F1 teammate Fernando Alonso.
Petrov and Aleshin contested last weekend’s Total Six Hours of Spa as a pair, with Button’s Super GT commitments at Fuji forcing him to miss the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opener.
“I’m smiling from ear to ear!”, said Button on his Instagram account after the extensive run.
“Had my first test in [the] SMP Racing BR1 and absolutely loved it, nice for my first test to be around Magny-Cours as it’s one of my favorite circuits and I have a lot of great memories from racing there.
“A solid five hours of testing and I’m already feeling comfortable behind the wheel of the beast! Still some areas of improvement needed but a good starting point thanks to Vitaly and Mikhail.”
SMP confirmed that Button drove in day and night conditions, using the low-downforce ‘Le Mans’ version of the BR1’s aero kit that the team raced at Spa.
“We are very happy after the first test day with Jenson in Magny Cours,” said a BR Engineering representative.
“He was immediately comfortable in the car and enjoyed a full testing day, including day and night runs.
“Jenson had a series of long and short stints and extracted most of the car in each run.”
Button, who is signed on to complete the rest of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’, will rejoin the Russian team for the official Le Mans test day on June 3 ahead of his race debut.