Jono LesterNew Zealand motor racing driver Jono Lester will make his first start in the Toyota Racing Series at the final round of the 2011 championship, to be contested at the Taupo Motorsport Park this coming weekend.

Lester will compete in the Tatuus chassis campaigned by Australian driver Scott Pye in the 2011 TRS International Series, with Trevor Sheumack’s ETEC Motorsport team.

Formula racing is the blood of the Lester family, with Jono’s grandfather, father and aunt having competed in Formula Vee, Formula Ford, Formula Pacific and Formula Holden.

However, Jono Lester has never competed in a ‘wings and slicks’ single seater; instead choosing a career path in sports and GT racing cars, having raced in Porsche GT3s in New Zealand, Australia and Europe since 2006.

“Ever since watching the very first TRS race at Timaru in 2005, I’ve always had a keen interest in driving one,” Lester said.

“It’s never really been an option until now as we’ve been focussed on the Porsche racing, but the opportunity presented to me at Barrie Thomlinson of Toyota Racing and ETEC Motorsport was too good to pass up.”

The 2011 Toyota Racing Series is regarded as being the most competitive in the championship’s six year history. Defending champion Mitch Evans will return from GP3 testing in Europe for the final round at Taupo, alongside Lester and a grid full of highly regarded young drivers from both New Zealand and Australia.

“There is some real talent out there, Mitch and Nick [Cassidy] in particular. It’s a highly competitive grid and this event will put me outside of my comfort zone, but I’m confident that I have the aptitude to adapt quickly to the single seater driving style and be competitive at Taupo.”

Lester will have his first test of a Toyota Racing Series car on Thursday, with three races to be contested over the weekend, including the coveted Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy.

Jono Lester is supported in his Toyota Racing Series debut by Radiance, Gourmet Direct “100% NZ Grown Meat”, Opti Flex, Vortex Racewear, Hornet Performance Nutrition, AAA Roofing and iSign It.

The weekend’s racing can be followed live via @ToyotaRacingNZ on Twitter, with results and other info available at www.toyotaracing.co.nz.