Kiwi Jono Lester will add the Asian Le Mans Series to his busy 2016 schedule, announced today as part of a three driver line up with OD Racing to take on the four round championship in a McLaren 650S GT3.
Lester will partner former A1GP star and F1 test driver Fairuz Gauzy of Malaysia, and rising Chinese star Zhang Da Sheng from the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia & China GT ranks, against a 16-strong GT3 class featuring world class lines ups from across Asia as well as Europe.
The full Asian Le Mans Series grid features over 30 cars across classes for LMP prototypes and GT machines.
Lester sees the opportunity as a further step towards his career goal of racing at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, for on the line in the Asian Le Mans Series is a handful of invitations to race at the prestigious French endurance event in June of 2017.
The Asian Le Mans Series joins Japanese Super GT, the GT Asia Series, China GT Championship and Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Series in Lester’s busiest season of racing since his career commenced in 2003.
The 26-year old Palmerston North-born, Auckland-based driver is enjoying success in a 25 race calendar across this multitude of Asian GT championships.
Lester travelled to Kuala Lumpur this week for OD Racing’s Official Press Launch for the season, spending time with fellow drivers, team management, sponsor and media ahead of the season start in six weeks time.
“I’m delighted to be joining OD Racing for the Asian Le Mans Series,” said Jono. “It will be my first time racing a McLaren however mid-engined GT3 cars are familiar territory for me so I expect to adapt quickly. With the ACO now fully behind the championship, the grids and quality are world class and I know we have a big challenge ahead of us to win the title. I have tunnel vision when it comes to Le Mans [24 Hour], and this is a step in the right direction. We are gunning for nothing less than victory, and I believe we have one of the strongest overall line ups in the GT3 class.”
The 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series kicks off in China, at the Zhuhai Circuit on October 29-30, with further rounds at Fuji (Japan), Buriram (Thailand) and Sepang (Malaysia) through to the end of January. Please find the season calendar in the footer of the is release.