JBXE has announced that team founder and nominated male driver Jenson Button will miss next week’s Ocean X-Prix in Senegal, with Kevin Hansen taking his place.
The team said that the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion would focus on his team principal role in his absence, while Button confirmed he would be back behind the wheel for the Glacier X-Prix in August.
“I’m delighted to announce that an opportunity has arisen for Kevin Hansen to compete for JBXE in Senegal,” said Button.
“I’m obviously wearing two hats with JBXE as both a driver, but also team owner, and it’s the latter which means having the opportunity to put Kevin in the car for this race was one I didn’t want to pass up.
“He’s an exciting driver and I can’t wait to see him representing JBXE in Senegal and I look forward to being back behind the wheel in Greenland.”
Button and team-mate Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky finished the Extreme E season opener in Saudi Arabia in sixth after coming last in the three car ‘Crazy Race’ consolation heat.
“I’m really excited to join F1 World Champion Jenson Button and his JBXE team for the XE X-Prix – it’s a huge opportunity,” said Hansen.
“I’ve been so involved in the series and developing the car since the beginning, from the early testing program right to Aragon last year, so to get this opportunity now with Jenson is so nice and I’m super excited to get to Senegal and see what I can do.”
Reigning Nitro Rallycross Champion Hansen will share the Odyssey 21 with Swedish compatriot Åhlin-Kottulinsky, another driver involved with the early development of the series.
“I’m so happy to be joining Mikaela also. I hope together we can be strong as I believe she is one of the strongest drivers in the championship and I’ve known her for a very long time,” he said.
“She’s very talented so this is a huge opportunity for us to be working together, and we have so much history in sharing the car together so it is going to be nice to be with her in this event, and I think we can do a good job together.”
Åhlin-Kottulinsky added: “I’m so excited to be racing with Kevin in the Ocean X-Prix, he is super eager to have some good results so I think this will be a great collaboration. We are actually doing some driving practice in Sweden in the coming days.
“I’ve known Kevin since we were around 10 years old as we have raced together in the Swedish National Team and worked together in developing the XE car over the last couple of years. We’ve actually raced against each other too in rallycross so I’m looking forward to getting some good results with Kevin.”
Hansen will also compete against brother Timmy who drives for Andretti United with Catie Munnings.
It will mark the first time the siblings have competed against each other for different teams in a top-level competition since the 2015 World Rallycross season finale in Argentina.