Lester aims at Australian GT record in Townsville

Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari driver Jono Lester is aiming for a place in Australian GT Championship history in Townsville.

The 458 GT3 driver will attempt to become just the third man in ‪#‎AustralianGT‬ history to take three consecutive pole positions in the championship.

But he’ll need Kiwi co-driver Graeme Smyth to perform well if he’s to equal the record held by Greg Crick and the late Allan Simonsen.

AGT organisers introduced a new qualifying system for the last round at Phillip Island, which is now a permanent format for all rounds moving forward.

Each driver has their own qualifying session in which to set their fastest time with an average of the two driver’s times taken to determine their qualifying spot, hence why Smyth must perform well to help Lester equal the record.

Lester took pole in Adelaide in a single driver session under the old regulations and he and Smyth had the fastest average time at Phillip Island in round two.

The record of three poles in a row was initially set by Greg Crick over the 2005/2006 seasons in his Viper ACR and was matched by Ferrari pilot Simonsen over the 2007/2008 seasons.

If Lester can claim pole in Townsville he’ll match them but become the first driver to take three poles in a row in a calendar year and also therefore be the first to take the first three poles of an AGT season.

Lester will have to wait a day to know if he’s put himself into the record books too given Qualifying 1 is held on Friday in Townsville and Qualifying 2 is not held until Saturday morning!

The last driver to claim two poles in a row in AGT history was Jack LeBrocq in Erebus’ Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 at Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park in 2013.

Drivers have scored back-to-back AGT poles nine times in championship history without being able to go on and score a third.

Lester is only the third driver in the last six seasons to score back-to-back poles.

Round 3 of the Australian GT Championship at Townsville will be held on July 10-12 with a pair of one-hour races held.

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits talkmotorsport.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!


Related Stories

Join in the conversation!


Leave a Reply