Kiwi endurance driver Jono Lester returns to Japan this weekend for the third round of the 2013 Super Taikyu Series at Twin Ring Motegi.
Lester will tackle this weekend’s 5-hour race alongside regular team mates Tatsuya Kataoka (JAP) and Fariqe Hairuman (MAL) in the #28 PETRONAS Syntium Team Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, returning to the more familiar endurance format after the recent Korean sprint event.
The 23-year old leads the Super Taikyu Series after a clean sweep of wins in Korea, and is firmly focused on consolidating and extending that gap at the high speed Motegi circuit, run within the banked curves of the popular Indycar oval.
“We have positive momentum after Korea, and the key now it to ride the wave and maximise our advantage at Motegi,” Lester commented.
The pair of PETRONAS Syntium Team cars will come under threat from a gaggle of GT3 rivals from marques such as Nissan, Audi, BMW and Porsche. Included in the grid is the high profile addition of former Le Mans 24 Hour winner Seiji Ara, driving an Audi R8 LMS.
Lester admits the layout of the Motegi circuit may suit rival machinery a little more than the long-snouted Mercedes-Benz.
“I enjoyed Motegi last year and did many laps there in both wet and dry. It’s a stop-start circuit and this may be to the benefit of the likes of Nissan and Porsche, whereas the SLS AMG is more suited to flowing circuits.
“Nevertheless, endurance racing is more than just being fast on a single lap. Strategy will come into play again with a 5 hour race, and fitness will be key in remaining consistently quick to challenge for victory.”
The Motegi event marks the first of eleven for Lester in the space of 15 weeks, driving in the Super Taikyu Series, V8 SuperTourers and South Island Endurance Series. At the conclusion of the regular season, his focus will turn to his competitive debut in the D1NZ Drifting Championship Pro Class over the summer.
Lester is supported throughout the 2013 season by key partners including Vortex Racewear, Purechoice New Zealand, Lero Trading, R Redpath Limited, Opti-Flex, Fastway Couriers, Robbie Bird Wines, CRC MotorNews.co.nz, Mako Networks, iSign it, Sony New Zealand, Sony Xplod, ThrillPledge and Webdesign.
More details about Jono and his season can be found at www.jonolester.com, or by following ‘Jono Lester’ on Facebook or @jonolester on Twitter. Join the conversation using the hashtag #flyingkiwi on social media.
Follow the action from your smartphone by downloading the free Jono Lester app, simply by visiting http://jonolester.appguppy.com from your iPhone or Android device.