Picture yourself in three thick fur coats, roasting in a sauna at over 60 degrees for 3, 6, 12 or a gruelling 24 hours! Then, imagine that sauna doubles as a gym workout as you’re being hurled forward and back, side-to-side on the world’s fastest rollercoaster. Could you last the distance?
Jono Lester tackles this challenge on a daily basis, as a professional racing driver with the world famous Gulf Racing team, driving in Japan’s Super GT Series. Throughout his career, he has competed all over the world for Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz AMG and now Porsche, the most successful marque in motor racing history.
Jono is part of a New Zealand motoring dynasty. Third-generation racer with his early roots in the Manawatu grew up immersed in the sights and smells of high powered machinery in the pits of Manfeild - a circuit built and run by his grandparents and the scene of his very first race at just 13 years old.
With racing ‘in the blood’ and high octane fuel coursing through his veins, Jono progressed up the ranks with Porsche, becoming the world’s youngest winner and claiming a coveted Scholarship from the revered marque after winning a worldwide shootout of young drivers.
This springboard has taken the young Kiwi from Europe to the Middle East, to the USA and Japan, and downunder with the iconic Ferrari marque, winning races at speeds reaching 300km/hr.
His story hasn’t been without its setbacks. In a sport driven by money, Jono pushed past his modest financial upbringing to make an unlikely career through good old fashioned graft, Kiwi ingenuity and the passion and support of his family.
Bouncing back from a potentially career-ending accident in 2008, Jono has encountered significant personal and financial hurdles but hasn’t looked back on his quest for glory and his ultimate goal to one day race in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race.
Current work 100% self-managed to this day, Jono is the master of his own destiny and manages the day-to-day life of a professional sportsman with the marketing, promotion and management of his career and brand. Jono Lester personifies the values we cherish as Kiwis, like a love of life, a refusal to conform and a freedom of thought and expression.
Gritty and tenacious; Jono attacks the racing circuit and the boardroom in the same way he attacks life, with breathless exuberance, nerves of titanium and a magnetic personality that takes audiences on a thrill ride they will never forget.