Jono Lester will be back in the driver’s seat of the DFM Racing Audi GT V8 for the opening round of the NZ V8 Touring Car Championships this weekend at Pukekohe Park.
Lester played a vital role in the development of the amped-up Chevrolet LS7-powered Audi A5 built specifically for endurance racing.
The car then made its race debut in this year’s North Island Endurance Series where Lester and co-driver/car owner Matt Dovey finished first in class.
Lester was initially set to run in the NZV8TC series at this year’s NZ Supercars round at Hampton Downs before the event was later cancelled.
This weekend, the 30-year-old will contest both marble draw sprint races before reuniting with Dovey for the one-hour feature race.
New to the series for the 2020/21 season, each round will have two shorter sprint races before concluding with a 60-minute feature race for either one or two drivers.
The feature race will carry the most points and will include a compulsory pitstop, which must be completed during the pit window between 20 and 40 minutes.
The duration of each pitstop will vary depending on the performance of the car (Balance of Performance) and is calculated by lap times set in the weekend’s earlier two races.
Refuelling will be allowed during the pitstop, as will any change of tyres. However, the pit lane will be closed in the case of a safety car.
Lester will be taking advantage of the relaxation of the eligibility criteria for the ‘NZV8’ class, which is now open to a broader range of naturally aspirated V8 saloon and coupe body styles.
A ban on driver aids has been lifted, as have restrictions on gearbox, diff, brakes and suspension packages.
This weekend’s event will be the sole round held this side of the new year with the next meeting scheduled to be at Hampton Downs over January 22-24.
The series will then visit Manfeild, Taupo and a yet-to-be-determined venue in April.
Main Image: ASP