NZ GT3: Jono Lester Teretonga Park preview

MORE SUPPORT FOR LESTER THIS WEEKEND Fast rising New Zealand Porsche race driver Jono Lester will this weekend compete in his second of four consecutive weekends of motorsport throughout the month of January, travelling from Timaru to ...

MORE SUPPORT FOR LESTER THIS WEEKEND

Fast rising New Zealand Porsche race driver Jono Lester will this weekend compete in his second of four consecutive weekends of motorsport throughout the month of January, travelling from Timaru to Invercargill for round four of the 2008/09 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge at Teretonga Park.

Lester, who turned nineteen over the Christmas break, was in 'fight back mode' for much of round three at Timaru's Levels Raceway last weekend. The Blackwoods Paykels GT3 was forced to start near the rear of the grid in the opening race after being penalised for breaking traction exiting pit lane in qualifying.

Lester made up a number of positions in the early laps of race one before suffering his first DNF of the season after becoming entangled in a concertina-like accident when two cars in front of him made contact, damaging his radiator and forcing retirement.

Starting from position eleven in race two, Lester was up to sixth place within two laps thanks to some decisive passing manoeuvres. He finished on the tail of team mate Jody Vincent and set up a third place starting position for the final race of the weekend.

A strong start in the feature race had Lester up into second place early, and while former Australian Carrera Cup Champion David Reynolds found his way past, points leader Craig Baird was unable to follow suit. The trio found clear track ahead of them after passing Daniel Gaunt at the mid-way point, with Reynolds eventually taking victory from Lester in second and Baird in third.

"It's another great result for me to finish up the front," Lester commented.

"I was a little flat on Saturday after the series of events that saw me down the back of the grid and then out of the race, but Sunday was great. The car felt solid for the majority and in race three I was able to keep within reach of David [Reynolds] until the dying laps when my tyres began to flare up a little. I kept pushing on with help from a large contingent of local support from the Timaru Blackwoods Paykels branch, and the podium was as much for them and their efforts as it is for myself and the International Motorsport team."

Lester can expect more local support from his sponsors this coming weekend in Invercargill, where he returns after having to forfeit last season's event with a broken leg and heavily damaged car. The prospect of a twilight 'mini-endurance' race on Saturday evening has Lester excited to return to what he already regards as his 'favourite track in New Zealand.'

Closely following Invercargill Jono will be competing at the Taupo A1GP Porsche Trophy Round, before returning once again to Taupo for the second consecutive weekend on January 30-February 01 to compete in the Juno SSC-NZ sportscar he has been testing over the summer.

-credit: jl

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Craig Baird , Daniel Gaunt , David Reynolds , Jono Lester