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Jenson lights up Frome!

Jenson Button greets the Frome crowd

Jenson Button greets the Frome crowd

JENSON Button described it as a “Dream come true” to drive his Formula One car through his hometown in front of thousands of excited onlookers. 

The former world champion returned to the town where he grew up to switch on the Christmas lights before driving his McLaren Formula One car through the streets of Frome as the town centre had been turned into a race track for one night.

On an action-packed evening, Jenson began festive celebrations by addressing the crowds from a podium erected by the Cheese and Grain alongside the Mayor, cllr Dickon Moore. Jenson said, “It is an absolute pleasure to be here to turn on the Christmas lights in my hometown. I never thought as a boy growing up here that one day I would get an opportunity like this, it’s amazing.

“It’s also a great opportunity for many people in Frome to see a Formula One car and I promise you it will be the loudest thing you have ever heard!”

The racing star was then  driven in an open top car through the town to another podium by the Market Place. Once again he addressed the thousands of supporters who had come to see his return before switching on the Christmas lights to ensure the town shone bright on one of its biggest nights.

Jenson then returned to the Cheese and Grain which had been transformed into a pit stop for the night where his McLaren team had been preparing his Formula One car for what Jenson described as the “Frome Grand Prix.” Moments later Jenson emerged to the delight of the estimated 5,000-strong crowd before racing up and down the streets of Frome doing ‘donuts’ to turn his car around in the Cheese and Grain car park and in the Market Place.

After the event Jenson spoke to the Frome Times. He said, “It was absolutely phenomenal to get to drive through the streets I grew up on and to get away with doing donuts and going through red lights is a dream come true. How many people can say they have done that! To see the amount of people come out to watch it was fantastic.

“When I found out about it I was amazed. Credit to my team because it’s not as easy as me just saying I want to do it. So much planning goes in and it has been so difficult to keep quiet about it because i’ve been that excited to get out there.

“I have not had the best of seasons but it’s good to end it at the Frome Grand Prix and come first! I just want to know where my trophy is as I haven’t seen too many of them recently. Although I don’t think Frome will be added to the Grand Prix circuit anytime soon – it’s a bit narrow and I don’t think my team noticed but I actually clipped the barrier at one point. It was an amazing experience and I feel very lucky to have got the chance tonight to do this.

“I’m a Frome boy still and that will never change. I am proud of where I come from and I still have family and friends here so the place means a lot to me. To get the chance to turn on the lights means so much. I just feel so lucky and it’s been a great night.”