Jono Lester will make his debut in the Australian GT Championship next month, taking on the grueling 101-lap endurance event at Phillip Island with Fastway Racing.
Piloting the same Porsche 997 GT3 that took the team to numerous victories in 2013, Lester and fellow Kiwi Simon Ellingham will compete in the highly competitive Trophy Class with support from leading outfit McElrea Racing.
Lester, 24, has not raced since finishing runner up in Japan’s Super Taikyu Series with the PETRONAS Syntium Team in November, and is excited to start 2014 on one of his personal ‘bucket list’ circuits in Phillip Island.
“Porsche and Phillip Island seem like a match made in heaven to me,” Lester commented.
“It’s been a long off-season so I’m obviously quite eager to get some seat time, and I know with Fastway and the McElrea Racing crew we will have the infrastructure to be really competitive in Australian GT.”
Lester is under no illusion of the competition, with many current and former V8 Supercar drivers and a number of class rivals in higher-specification FIA GT3 machinery, but believes a sound strategy will be equally important as raw pace.
“Endurance racing has been the bulk of my motorsport the past two years and there’s far more to this form of racing than just speed. We will be working closely with the team in our pre-event test [on May 7] to ensure we are totally prepared on all levels.”
Fastway Couriers last sponsored a team in Australia in the 1997 Bathurst 1000, with a breakdown on the final lap of the race resulting in one of the most incredible displays of sportsmanship in Bathurst history.
Lester and Ellingham will test at Phillip Island on May 7 ahead of the Australian GT Phillip Island 101 on May 24 as part of the Shannon’s Nationals Series.
Jono Lester is supported for 2014 by key partners including Vortex Racewear, R Redpath Limited, Laser Tools NZ, Fastway Couriers, Robbie Bird Wines, Gourmet Direct, CRC, www.motornews.co.nz, Sony NZ and Fineline Signs