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ISSUE 3

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- 28th N

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OVEMBE

R 2012


THE FIN 2012 season ends strong!

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Hi and welcome to the final 2012 issue of The Finish Line, an online e-Magazine where I will share the latest news and updates on my motor racing activities in New Zealand and Japan. The season concluded with the final rounds of Super Taikyu, the V8 SuperTourers and the South Island Endurance Series - the latter two staged as part of a ‘double header’ weekend at Ruapuna treating fans to some great racing. 2012 really has been a year I could not have expected - from struggling to raise the budget to do the Toyota Racing Series to landing three dream drives in diverse machinery and being able to compete in the sport I love on an International level. The last weekend at Ruapuna was overshadowed in disappointment, as the following pages will explain, but 2013 is already shaping up to be the best yet! My supporters, who are mentioned and shown right throughout this e-Magazine, provide a support package that is crucial in allowing me to go racing. I can never thank you guys enough. And to the fans out there who share messages of support over social media and stop by the pit garage for a chat at race events; I hope we’ve put on a show for you with some awesome results over the year. Thank you all for your support, Jono Lester

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THE FIN Super Taikyu: PETRONAS Syntium Team

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Autopolis Wrap After Suzuka’s success a fortnight before, confidence was high going into the final round of the Super Taikyu Series at Autopolis. In ‘kiwi speak’, Autopolis is ‘out in the wops’ – a 2.5 hour domestic flight from Tokyo to Kyushu island, and another two hours by car into the mountains to the cold, secluded Autopolis circuit. What we arrived to, however, was worth the wait. An undulating, beautifully laid out circuit set in the mountains. Beauty in disguise, as we would later find out that its location is as much a luxury as a burden, when the weather takes a turn. Testing was difficult, with the super-long SLS not well suited to the less flowing nature of Autopolis, and it took until this morning’s pre-qualifying warm up to feel happy with the car. The first qualifying saw a 4-way battle between our two PETRONAS SLS AMGs, the Kondo Nissan GTR and the new arrival of a Super GT GT300 Ferrari 458. At the end of Q1, we sat just 0.023s ahead of the field, leaving the job down to me to secure pole position in Q2. Taking a few brave pills and hooking up a solid lap gave us our third pole position of the season, and my third in a row for the PETRONAS Syntium Team. Sunday, on the contrary, was a day that the weather directed the show. Low fog and rain hung for the entire day - at times so thick that you could only just see your toes! The race was delayed until mid-afternoon, and shortened from the scheduled 3 hours, to just two as we formed up on the grid with a murky, dark view up ahead.

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IS POL T U E A >> H T CH STOP > T A W PIT


THE FIN Super Taikyu: PETRONAS Syntium Team

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Suzuka Wrap (continued) As the race got underway, we spent the first half an hour behind the safety car. Strategy quickly became key, with cars getting their scheduled pit stops out of the way from lap one right throughout this lengthy period of slow running. Opting for a strategy to come strong late in the race almost played out for us in Car #28. Melvin [Moh] drove the middle sting (all of three laps still behind the safety car) and I retook the seat with 45 minutes remaining. Finally seeing a green flag, I put my head down and charged through the field from the rear, feeling the Autopolis surface in wet conditions for the first time and cutting into the gap of the leaders ahead of me. After just two laps they were in sight, before the red flag was thrown and the race was declared early; the rain and fog becoming too heavy to justify. At this point, we were in 4th position. I was bitterly disappointed. I felt we had the package to win, and win convincingly, but with 80 of 90 minutes under safety car it was always going to be difficult to judge what strategy was best. Still, we ended the season finishing in second overall and I look forward to going one better next year! Having proved the pace and potential of Car #28, I know that we will be real contenders. A massive thanks goes out to dwA Motorsport for the opportunity to drive with the PETRONAS Syntium Team this year, to my team mates, engineer Niklas Tomassen, and crew and of course the valued supporters who helped me make the grid this year!

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LIS O P O AUT >>> E H M T CH T CA WAT HELME


THE FIN Super Taikyu: PETRONAS Syntium Team Autopolis Photo Gallery

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On Press Technology and Innovation for the Flexible Packaging Industry


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Super Taikyu: PETRONAS Syntium Team Results Breakdown

Round Five @ Suzuka Qualifying 1st Lester/Yanagida/Moh 3:37.412 (Total combined) 2nd Taniguchi/Ang/Hairuman 3:38.064 3rd GoGoGo Ferrari 458 GT3 3:38.845

Race (3 Hours shortened to 90 mins)

Overall Championship Standings

1st GoGoGo Ferrari 458 GT3 1:23’19.444 1st Taniguchi/Ang/Hairuman PETRONAS Syntium Team 2nd Taniguchi/Ang/Hairuman 1:24’35.866 2nd Lester/Yanagida/Moh PETRONAS Syntium Team 3rd Kondo Nissan GTR 1:24’42.785 3rd Gami/Fuji/Kim Kondo Racing 4th Lester/Yanagida/Moh 1:24’45.518 Race declared with 30mins remaining

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THE FIN V8 SuperTourers: John McIntyre Racing

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Ruapuna 350 Wrap After Pukekohe we were sure things couldn’t get any worse for JMR. Onward and upward, as they say. So, arriving at Ruapuna we were crossing our fingers behind our backs, and first impressions in the opening practice session revealed that we had a package that would be competitive for the weekend. Testing two different setups over the two team cars, it became clear in Practice Two that our #70 team mates were ‘on the money’. John [McIntyre] saddled up in our #47 BlackwoodsProtector machine and took off down the main straight to set a fast lap, only to arrive at turn one with no brakes. I was interrupted at the lunch table to hear that the sessiona had been red flagged, but even worse - John had caused it. A massive 196km/h impact into the tyre barriers significantly damaged the car and its driver, who was sent to hospital with a dislocated shoulder, rib fractures and sever bruising. The damage was enough to rule us out of competing in the Ruapuna 350, and instead we spent race day entertaining corporate guests on the sidelines, itching to be on track but relieved all the same that John was standing there with us; albeit in a fair bit of pain! I don’t believe we had a fair crack at the V8 SuperTourers Endurance Championship this season. A series in its infancy is still going through some teething problems, and I know when these are rectified the entire pit lane will be better off for it. I look forward to more seat time with JMR testing over the summer, and joining the team again for the 2013 Endurance Championship. And to John - thanks for the opportunity, bro! Rest up and see you soon :)

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THE FIN South Island Endurance: Fastway Racing

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Ruapuna Wrap The final round of the 2012 South Island Endurance Series was held on the Saturday evening of the V8 SuperTourers event at Ruapuna, with a 3 Hour race giving Simon [Ellingham] and I one last chance of scoring a deserving result in the Fastway Racing Porsche GT3. The Ruapuna circuit is always an anomaly for assessing a car and its balance - the dust and dirt on the circuit, combined with regular changes in ambient heat make it easy to ‘chase the car’ when exercising patience will see the circuit grip up in your favour anyway. We got through testing suffering some small balance problems but still quickest in the Fastway Racing #9. Qualifying wasn’t our best performance, achieving only 4th place after struggling in traffic and not maximising the new tyre. Another thing we didn’t expect was the blistering one-lap pace of the Ferrari 458 which took pole from a gaggle of Porsches by a country mile! In my first 75min stint, I knew I had to get to the front to control the field. I made it up into second in the opening laps and chased down the Ferrari, passing it at around the 20min mark. With the peak of our tyre now diminishing, I struggled for the remainder of my stint in the intense heat and with a car that really enjoyed understeering! Holding out the Ferrari in a nose-to-tail battle for close to an hour was brilliant. Sam [MacNeill] is a respectful driver and our racing was clean and fast. The braking performance of the Ferrari saw Sam snatch the lead a lap before I pitted and handed over to Simon to complete the middle hour of the race.

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THE FIN South Island Endurance: Fastway Racing

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Ruapuna Wrap In a strong performance Simon held his own well and when I rejoined the field with 50 minutes remaining, we were only a lap and a half down on the race leader and still in strong contention. I put my head down and relished in hunting down the Porsches ahead of me, passing and unlapping myself with just five minutes remaining and securing Fastway Racing’s first podium of the season with it. We were pleased that the results also meant we finished 3rd overall for the 2012 South Island Endurance Series, in a Porsche 1-2-3-4-5 lockout. Fastway Racing are a crew a little different to most seen in motorsport. They love their racing and enjoying every moment at the track, and the banter, laughs and camaraderie with the crew makes every upcoming race something I really look forward to. In addition to the efforts of my father Richard and Brem Ellingham, head Mechanic Symon Hutchings, Entertainment Manager Colin and of course my co driver Simon Ellingham were all equally deserving of each moment of success we had in this championship. I look forward to more racing with them in 2013!

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South Island Endurance: Fastway Racing

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Ruapuna Photo Gallery

Photo Credits: Euan Cameron

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A NEW LEVEL OF SAFETY COMING TO VORTEX IN 2013


THE FIN South Island Endurance: Fastway Racing

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Results Breakdown

Round Three (Final) @ Ruapuna Qualifying Race (3 hours)

Overall Points

1 MacNeill/Innes 1:23.771 1 Kelly/Gaunt 120 Laps 1 Kelly/Gaunt 296 2 Kelly/Gaunt 1:24.583 2 Armstrong/Hamilton +37.487 2 Armstrong/Hamilton 291 3 Bagnall/Pedersen 1:24.586 3 Ellingham/Lester +1:18.196 3 Ellingham/Lester 270 4 Ellingham/Lester 1:24.696

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Put your money where your heart in your mouth is


THE FIN My Recent Highlights

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PETRONAS Syntium Team: Super Taikyu Endurance Series

• Facing our toughest challenge of the season on a circuit not suited to the SLS, and still achieving pole position alongside 2012 Super GT Champion Masataka Yanagida • My third pole position in a row in Japan, proving that Car #28 is a potential Championship winning package • Ending the season pleased with my progress and performance and excited for what 2013 may bring!

John McIntyre Racing: V8 SuperTourers Endurance Series

• John emerging from his accident largely unscathed. The damage to he and the car could have been far more serious. • See one of my best mates, Andrew ‘DJ48’ Waite take his first win in the V8 SuperTourers. Well done ace!

Fastway Racing: South Island Endurance Series • • • •

An epic battle with the Ferrari 458 for the first third of the 3hr race at Ruapuna! Simon’s terrific efforts as co-driver was crucial in securing our podium finish. Snaring 3rd overall in the Championship was also a great bonus! Smiles all round at Fastway Racing, ready for more endurance racing in 2013 across New Zealand.

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THE FIN Hunting Speed at Autopolis

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Speedhunters was a social project launched by EA Games a few years ago, in conjunction with their Need for Speed franchise and sponsorships of team and drivers in GT and other forms of racing in Europe and the USA. Since then its following has grown exponentially to the point where it s one of the largest online motorsport and car enthusiasts communities on the planet. 230,000 Facebook fans and a huge website following are regularly fed race reports, interviews, car features and ‘live on location’ opinion from all corners of the globe. The opportunity to be interviewed and photographed by Speedhunters at Autopolis was a pretty awesome privilege, and the quality of the imagery alone was enough to knock one off his feet. To take a read of the interview with Larry Chen and check out the gallery, click on the image thumbnail on the right of the page >>>

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CLICK TO CHECK OUT THE SPEEDHUNTERS INTERVIEW & PICS


STM PROJECT 86

FOLLOW JONO AND THE TEAM WITH THEIR NEW TOYOTA 86


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Instagram Pics The latest snaps from Instagram @jono_lester

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THE FIN Recent Media Snippets Herald Weekender: ‘Driven’ - 10th November

Speedhunters - 11th November

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Recent Media Snippets - web links CRC motornews.co.nz speedcafe.co.nz

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S W E N T R O P S R O T O M T X S O E T B A N L I S R ’ U D O N Y A L O A TT C E R I D NEW ZE D N A E N ONLI


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Closing Notes Next event:

Facebook

Nothing for now. I’m looking forward to the Christmas/New Year break. The 2012 season has been amazing, and I look forward to keeping myself fit, healthy and focussed for an even bigger year in 2013.

Twitter YouTube

Thanks for the continued support. Bring on the next race :)

LinkedIn Flickr

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For all your Signage, Poster and Display requirements. Proudly supporting Jono Lester.


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Finally, a big thank you to my supporting Partners!

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The Finish Line #3  

The final 2012 issue of Jono Lester's 'The Finish Line', wrapping racing in the New Zealand and Japan with PETRONAS, JMR and Fastway Racing,

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