Motorsport: Bamber aiming for Bathurst glory

By Matthew Hansen

Kiwi Earl Bamber is hoping to win the Bathurst 12 Hour Race this weekend. Photo / Matthew Hansen
Kiwi Earl Bamber is hoping to win the Bathurst 12 Hour Race this weekend. Photo / Matthew Hansen

Porsche ace Earl Bamber has been a class winner at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour twice in the past, and the New Zealander expects to be in with a chance of repeating the process again this weekend.

"We definitely didn't come all this way to come second, we always try and win," Bamber told herald.co.nz.

"It's a different challenge for me, coming from a class B. Also, it's good to have the team here. Walkinshaw's done a fantastic job to prepare the car as well, so I'm really excited for our class A [Pro] challenge. I've got two very strong teammates with me too, so it's a very strong car line-up."

The 26-year-old's past Bathurst successes came in 2014 and 2016 respectively, where he raced on both occasions for the Grove Group in a class B Porsche Carrera Cup car.

Bamber will be joined by Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor in a factory supported Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R this weekend.

But while all three drivers in the squad bring with them past Bathurst experience, their campaign will be the first for a 991-generation GT3 R at Mount Panorama. This will also be Vanthoor's debut in a GT3-specification 911.

"In the end we've come here to put our best foot forward, and do the best with the package that we have," said Bamber.

"[Vanthoor] has never driven a Porsche with the engine in the rear, only the new mid-engined RSR. So [we'll need to] just get him adapted with that, get everybody comfortable, see what the car's capable of especially on the long runs.

"We were discussing earlier, and we think it's one of the most competitve fields we've ever raced in. So, that's where it stands."

The first test session of the week will take place tomorrow morning at 10.15am NZDT, with three more test sessions for the headlining class spread across the day.

- NZ Herald

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