AUS: Jono Lester Australian GP preview

JONO LESTER LIMPS TO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX JONO LESTER LIMPS TO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX Most people wouldn't even consider driving a car a fortnight after breaking their leg in a car accident -- New Zealand's Jono Lester (Blackwoods/JBS...

JONO LESTER LIMPS TO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

JONO LESTER LIMPS TO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Most people wouldn't even consider driving a car a fortnight after breaking their leg in a car accident -- New Zealand's Jono Lester (Blackwoods/JBS Tools) however is desperate to.

The 18-year-old racing sensation was set to make his FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix debut in the second round of Carrera Cup Australia this week but has faced the proverbial "race against time" to be there.

Lester broke his left leg after an incident with Rodney Forbes and an earth bank at the penultimate round of the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge at Timaru, NZ, just over a week ago.

And although the doctors described it as "one of the cleanest cross-fractures possible", he's had to undergo extensive rehab over the last week to give himself any chance of racing in Melbourne.

It seems to have worked however and barring any unforeseen problems over the next few days, Lester will take to the track when Carrera Cup rolls out for its first practice session on Thursday morning.

Although his recovery hasn't been without complications.

"I got my medical clearance this morning (Monday) however it seems I may have strained my calf or Achilles muscle yesterday when I walked a fair bit," he said.

"I think I might have overdone it a little considering it hadn't been used for over a week, but I've been rehabilitating already for the fibula so I've just added in some extra stretching to compensate.

"I feel off balance -- when I walk it's as if my left hand side hasn't learnt to walk yet.

"My knee buckles a little and I must look like a bit of an idiot as I wobble around, but at least I'm on my feet."

The fact he didn't need an operation and is without a cast helped Lester's recovery, as either of those options would have meant he definitely would have missed Melbourne.

While a serious injury and one which ended Lester's New Zealand GT3 Cup Challenge season with one round left, Lester was unaware of its severity immediately after it happened.

"I got out of the car as quickly as possible and collapsed when I put pressure on my left leg," he said.

"When I was told it was broken, I laughed actually, and questioned just how that could be the case considering most of the pain (at that stage) was near my ankle.

"Then I realised I wouldn't be able to race last weekend in Invercargill and would struggle to be ready for the Grand Prix and I went a bit quiet."

Even now, eight days after the accident happened and well after the shock has worn off, Lester was still unsure what caused it.

"Initially the shock and adrenaline caused me to believe that my throttle had jammed, but upon reflection think I misinterpreted Rodney's braking point heading into a left-hand bend," he said.

"Having been in such close formation at the time I made contact with Rodney I lost my steering as we flew off the track and into the wall. I think it's safe to say that I messed up - plain and simple."

And while most drivers would be anxious to return after such a big shunt, Lester wants nothing more than to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible.

"I won't be 100 per cent in the Grand Prix, we know that now, but I can't just sit back and wonder 'what if' on the couch at home," he said.

"If we can salvage something from the weekend then it's worth it and dad joked that if I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair between races to ease the use of the leg then it would be done!"

-credit: cupcar.com.au

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Rodney Forbes , Jono Lester