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Lester rapt afterbeating Craig Baird


Teenager drives superbly to hold off international Porsche racing star at Pukekohe

Teenaged Porsche racer Jono Lester says his win under strong pressure from multiple champion Craig Baird in the third GT3 race at Pukekohe this month may have been his third in the series but it felt like the first.

Baird pushed relentlessly but Lester refused to buckle and took a narrow win.

That victory and third and fourth placings in the other two races put Lester into second place behind defending champion and series leader Baird.

Lester trailed former teammate Daniel Gaunt for the first half of the race before out braking him at the hairpin and taking the lead.

“It’s my third win in the GT3 Cup Challenge, but it feels like my first,” says Lester. “This is the first time I’ve been able to take a victory fair and square with Craig Baird, David Reynolds and all the other top forces out there competing with me, so it’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

Lester says racing in selected rounds of the 2008 Australian Porsche Carrera Cup has sharpened his skills. He has also benefited from working with neuroscientist Dr. Kerry Spackman.

“I felt good coming into this. The Aussie racing toughened me up and taught me to run my own race and focus ahead, while Dr. Spackman’s knowledge and skills were with me every second out there. I hope this victory will be the first of many this season.”

Conder wins round to lead Super Sedans

Aucklander Wayne Conder leads the 2008/2009 Pacific Sheet & Coil NZ Super Sedan Series after winning round two at Manfeild Park.

The Chevrolet Camaro driver scored good results in all three races, winning the handicap-start finale.

New Super Sedan competitor Matt Carter (Auckland) qualified his Ford Falcon V8 Supercar on pole ahead of Wellington’s Stuart Bovey (Jaguar XKR) and Roger Williams of Auckland (Oldsmobile Aurora). Tauranga's Grant Brennan was next in his Brennan (Chev Corvette).

Ewan Scott (Paraparaumu) won the Saturday handicap-start race in his much-modified Datsun 1200.

Sunday morning's rolling start race developed into a great battle between the 2006/2007 champion, Brennan, and Bovey. Brennan battled gearbox problems but managed to win, from Bovey and Conder.

Brennan was last away, with a handicap of more than two minutes, in Sunday’s final. Conder charged near the back to take the win. Bovey fought his way through to second with Carter third.

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