Jono Lester

Name: Jono Lester
DOB: 8 December 1989
Nationality: Kiwi
Birthplace: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Residence: Auckland, New Zealand

With a family so deeply involved in motor racing, Jono Lester attended his first race event when he was merely two weeks old – at the 1990 New Zealand Grand Prix where his father Richard came in second.

His grandparents Rob and Wendy built the Manfeild circuit in 1973 and operated it till they retired in 2003. During this time, Richard became a multiple New Zealand champion in Formula Vee, winning his last championship at 59 years old. 

Upon retirement, Richard started working as a driver coach and helped many racers achieve successful careers in Formula One, V8 Supercars and European touring car racing. Besides his father, Jono’s Aunt Debbie also attained milestones in Formula Ford, Formula Pacific and endurance touring car racing.

Jono grew up around racing but the desire to race only kicked in during teenhood at the age of 13 and he began racing in Formula First, a single-seater series that precedes Formula Ford, in 2003. He came in second in his first ever race and went on to finish overall second in the series.

Significant highlights of Jono’s racing career include becoming the youngest Porsche Cup racer in the world at 16, then the youngest Porsche Cup race winner at 17. Jono was named New Zealand's Young Driver of the Year in 2007, a 2007 graduate of the prestigious Elite Motorsport Academy and a 2008 President's Scholarship winner. In 2009 he assisted Porsche AG in developing their new GT3 race cars in Bahrain and in 2010 he was awarded a Porsche Motorsport Talent Scholarship after a worldwide shootout in Italy against 11 other young drivers. He then competed in the Monza round of the Porsche Supercup. In 2011 Jono represented Team New Zealand at the World Time Attack Challenge and for 2012, he was offered the incredible opportunity to drive for PETRONAS Syntium Team in Super Taikyu.

PETRONAS Syntium Team founder and owner David Wong of DWA Motorsports has been a great supporter, mentor and advisor to Jono since he was just 14 years old. 


• Toyota Racing Series with ETEC Motorsport


• World Time Attack Challenge – Team New Zealand Driver
• Toyota Racing Series debut (Taupo) – Overall 4th
• 4&Rotary Superlap Time Attack (Mitsubishi Evo) – 1st
• 4&Rotary Superlap Time Attack (Toyota Supra) – 2nd


• Porsche Motorsport Talent Scholarship Winner
• 4&Rotary Superlap Time Attack (Toyota Supra) – 2nd
• Second successful completion of the New Zealand Motorsport Charity Trainathon
• Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut, Monza - 13th (of 32)


• Porsche GT3 Cup Car Development with Porsche AG, Bahrain Sakhir International Circuit
• Porsche Supercup testing with Lechner Racing, Hungaroring Grand Prix Circuit
• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge – Hamilton 400 Trophy Winner
• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge – Taupo A1GP Trophy Winner
• New Zealand Sports Car Series Taupo Winner, Juno SSE-NZ
• Successful completion of the New Zealand Motorsport Charity Trainathon
• Trainathon secures World Record for 'The World's Longest Gym Training Session' (40 Hours)


• Presidents Scholarship Recipient
• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge (Round 3, Taupo) – 1st


• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge – Overall 4th
• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge (Round 3, Timaru) – 1st (youngest worldwide winner at  age 17)
• Steel Trophy recipient for top junior (under-21) driver in New Zealand
• Elite Motorsport Academy – Overall 2nd
• New Zealand Performance Car Superlap Time Attack (Mitsubishi Evo VIII) – 1st
• XtraMSN Motorsport Awards – New Zealand’s Best Presented Driver


• Formula Challenge Winter Series – Overall 3rd
• NZ Formula First Championship – Best Presented Car


• HQ Holden Series, Manfeild – Overall 2nd
• Formula Challenge Summer Series – Overall 1st
• Competed in New Zealand Grand Prix, Formula Ford
• Competed in North Island Endurance Series, Honda Civic EK4 ATCC
• New Zealand Formula First Championship – Alex Elvy Memorial Trophy recipient


• Formula First, Manfeild Winter Series – Overall 2nd