New Zealand’s Jono Lester was supremely quick at the second round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli. He put the Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari on pole, led the race, while having a massive fight with Dean Canto’s Aston Martin and together with Greame Smyth, led right up to the final stages of the race – when things started to go wrong.
The duo had a comfortable lead when a safety car came out and with Smyth in the car, it would be a fight to the flag with some much more experienced racers. It wasn’t to be as he fell off the road under pressure, falling to fourth. He was able to fight back up to third and took a thrilling podium. Things were to get worse for the duo as a post race penalty for a yellow flag infraction dropped them off the podium.
As Lester tries to pursue his international racing opportunities, his performance over the weekend was impressive, outpacing GT superstar, Chris Mies and really coming to grips with the Ferrari, realising that this car suits his style more the other cars he as raced in the past.
It also did no harm to their Championship aspirations. The Trass Family Ferrari had a heavy crash at the end of the first round in Adelaide but the car was repaired and back – perhaps in better condition than when it was new. Despite the issues they suffered, they have the pace and the gap to the top is small. With changes to the Australian GT seeding rules, the fight for the Championship is on.
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By Sam Tickell, May 2015
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