Trass Family Motorsport (TFM), New Zealand’s Ferrari Racing Team, have announced Jono Lester and Paul Kelly as its drivers for the 2015 Australian GT Championship.
TFM made their Australian GT debut late last year at the Highlands 101. With Lester at the wheel the team showed immediate potential on debut of its Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, performing strongly against the series’ established front-runners and prompting the decision for a full crack at the championship in 2015.
Jono Lester, 25, is a third-generation racer who brings speed and experience from two seasons of GT3 racing in Japan and greater Asia, while Kelly is well versed in Porsche Carrera Cups and Endurance racing, and is the current New Zealand Endurance Champion.
Both Lester and Kelly competed as rivals at Highlands Park (Lester with TFM and Kelly in a Lamborghini) and in Porsche Carrera Cups in years previous. For the 2015 season the two friends will come together for the first time, aiming to win the Australian GT Championship.
A partnership has been formed with Maranello Motorsport for the season, adding credibility, expertise and experience to the fold.
The 2015 Australian GT Championship is held over six rounds of sprint and endurance racing in Australia and New Zealand. Four sprints events are held as the Premier support category to the V8 Supercars Championship, with two 101-lap endurance races at Phillip Island and Highlands Motorsport Park (NZ) completing the calendar.
In preparation for the Australian GT season is one of the highest profile ‘curtain raiser’ events imaginable, with TFM representing New Zealand in Class A at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race on February 6-8. Lester leads the driver line up alongside John McIntyre and Graeme Smyth.
Round one of Australian GT then kicks off on the streets of Adelaide for the Clipsal 500 on February 26 to March 01.
JONO LESTER / Driver – TFM Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 #27
PK [Kelly] and I go way back to my first Porsche season in 2006 and he’s always had a reputation for his consistency, reliability and speed. In my opinion he’s the top ‘gentleman’ racer in NZ and he’s only gotten better with coaching from Bairdo [Craig Baird] in recent seasons. He’s also race fit and driving often, which is a real bonus. With AGT’s parity pit stop rules I believe we have the ingredients to fight Erebus and Maranello for the title this season.
PAUL KELLY / Driver – TFM Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 #27
After racing in Australia in the Porsche Carrera Cup for three seasons I am really excited to take on the Australian GT series with TFM. I recently drove my first GT3 car at the Highlands 101 and it was staggeringly quick. I believe the TFM Ferrari will be extremely competitive with Jono and myself. Trass Family Motorsport is a fitting environment with my fiancé Erina and son Jensen accompanying me to the rounds this season!
GERALD TRASS / Team Principal – Trass Family Motorsport
Trass Family Motorsport is excited to have a car entered into the 2015 Australian GT series. We look forward to adding a Kiwi line-up to compete against the best GT teams in Australia.
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Trass Family Motorsport is supported in the 2015 Australian GT campaign by key partners including Vortex Racewear, CRC, iSign It, Pixelsaurus, Broderick Print and the Ferrari Owners Club of New Zealand.
More details about TFM can be found on the team’s Official website at www.tfmotorsport.co.nz, or by following ‘Trass Family Motorsport’ on Facebook, and @tfmotorsport on Twitter and Instagram.