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MARCH 23, 2011

Button enjoys Panoramic view

Jenson Button wowed Australian race fans, of whom more than 10,000 turned up to witness him drive a McLaren MP4-23 - the car that team mate Lewis Hamilton took to the '08 world championship - around Australia's best known race circuit, Bathurst.

In a Vodafone organised event, Mount Panorama lap record holder Craig Lowndes also got to take the McLaren around the track. Button lapped 17s beneath Lowndes's 2m06.8s Bathurst V8 Supercar lap record, set last year, and also got to try the tintop.

"I've always wanted to drive at this place and it's awesome - these guys must be mad," Button said. "Racing here must be amazing. If I had the opportunity to do it I think it would be great fun. I would probably get to see Australia as well if I came over to race in V8s and that is something I want to do. But there is a lot for me to do before I do that! I was holding on pretty tight the whole way around and I really had to concentrate."

Lowndes lapped just a couple of seconds slower than Button and said: "It was everything I expected and more. There is a hell of a lot more power than the V8 and the aerodynamics make the thing just stick to the ground. I was revving it out coming down Conrod Straight and I reckon we could have got the time into the 1:30s if the car was geared for top speed."