This summer time, trendy NASCAR is making its debut on the 24 Hours of Le Mans — type of. A NASCAR-inspired Chevrolet Camaro will hit the Circuit de la Sarthe as a part of the Storage 56 program, which is designed extra to showcase experimental know-how than to compete in any of the race’s official courses. The machine can be pushed by Jenson Button, Jimmie Johnson, and Mike Rockenfeller — the primary of whom made his NASCAR Cup Collection debut this previous weekend at Circuit of the Americas. I had an opportunity to speak with Button in regards to the distinctions between the Cup automobile and its endurance-equipped counterpart.
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“The Storage 56 automobile relies on a Cup inventory automobile, in order that they’re theoretically related however they’re additionally not the identical in any respect. How do they differ?” I requested.
“The seating place is type of related, and that’s about it,” Button responded with fun.
“The Storage 56 automobile is eight seconds per lap faster,” Button defined. “It’s received extra downforce, paddle shifters, carbon fiber. It’s additionally received traction management should you get a bit out of practice — which you do so much within the Cup automobiles.”
Button admitted that dropping management was one among his greatest fears as he headed into the Cup collection race at Circuit of the Americas. His testing laps on the observe within the Storage 56 automobile actually didn’t assist him put together.
“You’d assume this race would assist with the Storage 56 program,” Button mentioned, “however it’s not likely helpful in any respect!”
His teammate at Le Mans, Jimmie Johnson, echoed related sentiments in a press convention earlier within the day, noting that the Storage 56 Camaro is actually much less of a inventory automobile than it’s a sports activities automobile that simply occurs to look a bit bit like what you’d discover on a NASCAR observe.
For Button, his greatest strengths have come within the type of his teammates Johnson and Rockenfeller, together with the recommendation he’s been receiving from sports activities automobile driver Jordan Taylor throughout Storage 56 take a look at classes.
“Jimmie [Johnson] has a whole lot of expertise within the Cup Collection, however street programs are nonetheless a problem for him, as a result of that’s not one thing he did a lot again within the day,” Button mentioned. “He involves this program from a really completely different means than I do.
“And Rocky? He has a lot expertise and a lot data on the subject of racing something that his recommendation has simply been spectacular.”
At this period in his life, Button is much less involved with wholehearted motorsport domination than he’s with discovering new methods to bolster his skillset.
“I’m a racing driver, and I like racing, no matter it’s,” Button mentioned. “Racing Le Mans is spectacular. It’ll be even higher to see what we will do with Storage 56.”