|Jono Lester (NZL)|
|Born||Jonathan Robert Lester|
8 December 1989
Palmerston North (New Zealand)
|Blancpain GT Asia career|
|Current team||Absolute Racing|
|Co-driver||Yuan Bo (CHN)|
|Thailand Super Series|
Intercontinental GT Challenge
Asian Le Mans Series
GT Asia Series
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia
Toyota Racing Series
Porsche GT3 Cup NZ
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia
Formula First NZ
|NZ Endurance Champion|
NZ Time Attack Champion
NZ Formula Challenge Champion
|Porsche Motorsport Talent Scholarship|
The President's Scholarship
Jono is a third generation driver, with grandfather Rob, father Richard and Aunt Debbie all winning National titles.
Jono Lester didn't take the conventional junior pathway of karting, beginning his driving career in Formula Vee at age 13.
He dovetailed his two seasons in Formula Vee with Formula Challenge, and occasional races in HQ Holdens and the North Island Endurance Series.
He won the 2014 Formula Challenge Summer Series.
Porsche Carrera CupsEdit
Lester's career took another unconventional turn when he graduated to the Porsche GT3 Cup in 2006.
In doing so he became the world's youngest competitor in a Porsche one-make Cup, aged 16 years and 10 months.
Four months later, in March 2007, he took his maiden victory at Timaru International Motor Raceway to become the World's Youngest Porsche Cups race winner.
Lester won a Porsche Motorsport Talent Factory Scholarship in 2010, after a global shootout of 12 drivers at ACI Vallelunga Circuit, Italy. His prize was a start in the Porsche Supercup at the Monza Grand Prix, where he finished 13th in a field of 32.
Lester returned to Japan with the PETRONAS team in 2013. He again finished second overall in the Super Taikyu Series.
He scored five of seven pole positions in the Australian GT Championship, including three in a row to set two all-time category records.
Lester's final race with the team ended in controversy, when the TFM Ferrari was disqualified while leading the season-ending Highlands 101 in New Zealand, after pitting outside the compulsory time window.
Lester returned to Asia in 2016, competing in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, GT Asia, China GT and the Asian Le Mans Series.
In China GT, he was a winner in GTC at Chengdu driving a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with Chinese driver Pan Chao with the local JRM Team.
Lester also made his Japanese Super GT debut in 2016, with a one-off drive at the Suzuka 1000 km in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with the Direction Racing team. The car finished many laps down in 19th after multiple tyre failures during the race.
In 2017, Lester made his full-time Japanese Super GT debut. See the section below for details.
In 2018, Lester is racing in the Thailand Super Series, Blancpain GT Series Asia and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
In the Thailand Super Series, he was a sole entrant at the opening round of the Championship in a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, but was uncompetitive.
He changed vehicles for round two onwards, pairing with Japanese Akihiro Asai in a Vattana Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo FL2. The pair won three of six races together, with Lester finishing third in the Championship and helping Vattana Motorsport to the Team's Title.
The pair finished second in their first race together at Fuji Speedway, and took HubAuto's first win at the following round in Shanghai. At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Lester and Foster netted two wins and four podiums from six races.
In the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Lester joined Japanese team D’station Racing for the Suzuka 10 Hours in a Porsche 991 GT3-R. Driving with Tsubasa Kondo and Satoshi Hoshino, they finished many laps down in 28th with multiple unscheduled pit stops to rectify electrical and cooling issues.
Paired with Japanese Kyosuke Mineo, they scored a podium on debut at Okayama, finished third after starting 15th on the grid.
Three more top five finishes throughout the season netted Gulf Racing 8th overall in the GT300 standings.
Lester was set to return with the team for 2018, but a budget cut forced an eleventh hour exit. Mineo also left the team.
At the start of 2012, Lester made the step into open-wheel racing joining the Toyota Racing Series with ETEC Motorsport. He scored a podium in the opening race of the season and finished sixth in the New Zealand Grand Prix.
In another deviation from GT racing, he joined John McIntyre Racing for the V8 SuperTourers Endurance Championship Endurance Series in a Ford Falcon FG. Lester and McIntyre scored two podium finishes at the opening round, the Taupo 400.
He also joined Simon Ellingham at Fastway Racing, finishing third overall in the South Island Endurance Series driving a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
Lester returned with both John McIntyre Racing and Fastway Racing for 2013.
An uncompetitive run in the V8 SuperTourers saw Lester leave the team after two rounds of the Endurance Series, while at Fastway Racing Lester and Ellingham clean-swept the New Zealand Endurance Championship with two poles and two victories in their Porsche 997.
Lester raced in both the North and South Island Endurance Series’ in 2014 with Trass Family Motorsport, driving a Ferrari F430 Challenge.
He won the Hampton Downs 3 Hour race, driving with Robin Gray.
Lester returned to the local Endurance Series’ in 2015 with Trass Family Motorsport, this time driving a GT3-spec Ferrari F430 with Graeme Smyth. The car was fast but unreliable, and failed to finish a race.
Lester was a recipient of the Steel Trophy in 2007, representing New Zealand's top driver under 21 years of age.
|2003||NZ Formula First Championship||Sabre Motorsport||21||18th|
|Formula First Winter Series||Sabre Motorsport||12||7||1||2nd|
|2004||New Zealand Grand Prix||Richard Lester Motorsport||1||NC|
|Formula Challenge Summer Series||Richard Lester Motorsport||6||4||6||4||4||1st|
|NZ Formula First Championship||Richard Lester Motorsport||17||5||9th|
|Formula First Winter Series||Richard Lester Motorsport||12||4||4th|
|Pukekohe 6 Hour Race||Richard Lester Motorsport||1||1||1||NC|
|NZ HQ Holden Championship||Richard Lester Motorsport||3||1||4th|
|2005||Formula Challenge Winter Series||Richard Lester Motorsport||6||3||5||1||3rd|
|2006||New Zealand Porsche GT3 Cup||Richard Lester Motorsport||20||1||2||4th|
|2007||New Zealand Porsche GT3 Cup||International Motorsport||15||1||7||1||2||5th|
|Porsche GT3 NZ: Hamilton 400||International Motorsport||3||1||4th|
|New Zealand Time Attack Series||EVO88U Racing||1||1||1||1||1||1st|
|2008||Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship||Greg Murphy Racing||19|
|New Zealand Porsche GT3 Cup||International Motorsport||12||1||5||4th|
|New Zealand Sportscar Series||Juno Racing NZ||3||2||2||1||3||1st|
|New Zealand Time Attack Series||EVO88U Racing||1||1||1||1||1||1st|
|2009||Porsche GT3 NZ: Taupo A1GP Trophy||International Motorsport||3||2||3||2||1||1st|
|Porsche GT3 NZ: Hamilton 400||International Motorsport||3||1||1st|
|2010||Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup||Porsche AG||1||NC|
|New Zealand Time Attack Series||Cheapskates Racing||1||1||2nd|
|2011||Toyota Racing Series||ETEC Motorsport||3||4th|
|align="left" |World Time Attack Challenge||align="left" | Team RevolutioNZ||1||13th|
|New Zealand Time Attack Series||EVO88U/Cheapskates Racing||2||1||2||1||1st|
|2012||Super Taikyu Endurance Series||PETRONAS Syntium Team||6||1||4||3||1||80||2nd|
|Toyota Racing Series||ETEC Motorsport||15||1||514||11th|
|V8 SuperTourers Endurance Championship||John McIntyre Racing||5||2||771||11th|
|South Island Endurance Series||Fastway Racing||4||1||1||2||3||270||3rd|
|2013||Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race||PETRONAS Syntium Team||1||NC|
|Super Taikyu Endurance Series||PETRONAS Syntium Team||5||1||3||2||2||86||2nd|
|New Zealand Endurance Championship||Fastway Racing||2||2||2||2||2||150||1st|
|V8 SuperTourers Endurance Championship||John McIntyre Racing||6||217||18th|
|2014||Australian GT Championship (Phillip Island)||Fastway Racing||1||55||18th|
|Australian GT Championship (Highlands Park)||Trass Family Motorsport||2|
|Highlands 101 Endurance Race||Trass Family Motorsport||1||NC|
|Hampton Downs 3 Hour Race||Trass Family Motorsport||1||1||1||1st|
|Hampton Downs 6 Hour Race||Trass Family Motorsport||1||NC|
|2015||Bathurst 12 Hour||Trass Family Motorsport||1||NC|
|Australian GT Championship||Trass Family Motorsport||11||5||4||3||496||5th|
|Highlands 101 Endurance Race||Trass Family Motorsport||1||1||DSQ|
|North Island Endurance Series||Trass Family Motorsport||2||1||1||107||4th|
|2016||Japanese Super GT 1000 km Suzuka||Direction 108 Racing||1||19th|
|Asian Le Mans Series||OD Racing Best Leader Team||3||1||4||37th|
|GT Asia Series||Arrows GruppeM Racing||4||1||32||22nd|
|China GT Championship||JR Motorsports Club||4||1||2||NC|
|Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia||Direction Racing||10||1||9||4||2||126||2nd|
|2017||Japanese Super GT||Gulf Racing Japan||8||1||31||8th|
|2018||Thailand Super Series||Vattana Motorsport||8||3||4||2||3||120||3rd|
|GT Asia Series||Vattana Motorsport||4||1||2||1||N/A|
|Blancpain GT Series Asia||HubAuto Corsa||6||2||4||8th (Part-season)|
|Suzuka 10 Hours||D'station Racing||1||9th|
- "The face of Manfeild Park for 30 years Wendy Lester remembered". Manawatu Evening Standard.
- "MotorSport New Zealand Premier Awards". MotorSport New Zealand.
- "Young Guns head fresh Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge line-up". Porsche GT3 Cup NZ.
- "Lester thrilled with Porsche Supercup debut at Monza". iSportz.
- "Lester finishes second in Super Taikyu Endurance Series". Scoop.
- "2013 Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race - The Preview". 9tro.com.
- "Lap and pole position records for Lester in Australian GT". Trass Family Motorsport.
- "Jono Lester wins at Suzuka in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia". motornews.co.nz.
- "Lester scores GT Asia podium on debut at Okayama". Speedcafe.
- "Lester wins on China GT debut at Chengdu". MotorSport New Zealand.
- "KIWI JONO LESTER SET FOR SUPER GT DEBUT AT FUJI". Super GT World.
- "Lester and Asai win again on the streets of Bangsaen". nzmotorracing.co.nz.
- "Four Ferrari crews racing at Fuji". Ferrari Competizioni GT.
- "Lester, Foster and HubAuto Finish Blancpain GT Asia Season With Victory At Ningbo". motornews.co.nz.
- "Jono Lester signs with iconic Gulf Racing team for Porsche tilt in Japanese Super GT". motornews.co.nz.
- "ETEC drivers takes positives from wild Teretonga TRS opener". TenTenths.
- "Double podium for McIntyre and Lester in V8 SuperTourer enduro". JMR.
- "Lester and Ellingham win New Zealand Endurance Championship". CRC MotorNews.co.nz.
- "2007 Steel Trophy recipient". MotorSport New Zealand.
- "Neuroscientist to work with three leading race drivers". The Winner's Bible.