Revving it up with Motor Sports with Jono Lester and Graeme Smyth

IMG_0311…and now for something completely different, the #50Sports in 50Weeks team tried their hand at Motor Racing this week with Trass Family Motorsport and Ferrari GT driver Jono Lester in New Zealand. Whether it’s doing laps in the family go-kart on the weekend or full-bore GT racing, we found motor sports are every bit as exciting and fun as you’d expect, but quickly discovered how important physical and mental conditioning are in this grueling endurance sport where the body and mind are under just as much pressure as the car, so this is yet another awesome way to get off the couch.

IMG_9749Our week started at Pukekohe in Auckland New Zealand to join #TrassFamilyMotorsport in the pits at the Mahindra North Island Endurance Series. TFM was entered in both the 1hr sprint and the 3hr endurance events with two Ferraris, but lost one car early in practice to engine failure, so they raced both events with their “second” and much less powerful car.


IMG_9730 It was real privilege to be in the pits and watch Jono’s dad Richard Lester as Pit Manager calling some brilliant strategies and his drivers and pit crew executing to perfection. That with some amazing driving by Jono Lester and Graeme Smyth saw Team TFM take a sensational and well earned podium finish in 2nd place.

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IMG_0128Next we set out to understand the physical conditioning top drivers like Jono have to undertake so we hit the gym at the #AUTMillennium Institute of Sport. There Jono took Jacqui, Ben and Paul through several of his favorite strength and endurance exercises, followed by a steady hike around the rugged coastline of Okuru.


IMG_0150With his dedication to keeping fit and well conditioned it was easy to see why Jono thrives in the endurance events.


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Finally it was time for the Browns to the sport a go themselves with Jono, Graeme and his uncle David Smyth inviting us out to the Kartsport Auckland to race some serious karts that can hit speeds of 120 km/hr or more.

IMG_0317We were also joined with mechanic and technical  support by Graeme’s dad Kerry Lester and Kartsport Club president Roger Smith who’s regular job is to pilot commercial aircraft like the Airbus 380, but gets his kicks in these pocket rockets. Regular rain showers made the track slippery at times but nothing dampened the enthusiasm and laughs we all had that day. As promised, the Kart’s proved to be a handful and everyone felt the physical challenge while still having endless fun.

Paul, Jacqui and Ben all agree, at any level, motor sport is an awesome and adrenalin-fuelled way to get off the couch!

Karting Gang