New Zealand driver Earl Bamber has been signed as a works driver for Porsche, joining Brendon Hartley as the second New Zealander to secure a works drive.
The announcement was made at Porsche's "Night of Champions" Motorsport Gala in Stuttgart, Germany, on Saturday night (local time).
Bamber will bolster Porsche Motorsport's GT squad this coming season and pilot a 911 RSR in the North American Tudor United Sportscar Championship.
Bamber won the international Porsche Supercup championship, becoming not only the first New Zealander to do that but the first rookie.
This year, 24-year-old Bamber also contested the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, Porsche Carrera Cup France, Porsche Carrera Cup UK, raced in a support category at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and driven as a factory driver at the Petit Le Mans in a 911RSR.
Back in New Zealand for a fleeting visit last month, Bamber told Driven that his goal was to be picked as a factory driver.
Bamber began go-kart racing as a 7-year-old. But the move from go-karts to Toyota Racing Series' single seater to GP2, TRS, A1GP, Formula Masters, Superleague, Formula Renault, Euroseries and Formula V6 has also prepared him for racing in the endurance series.
""When you're 18 or 19, you can drive fast but you can't deal with everything around you. When you're a little bit older it's easier to deal with," Bamber said.
"It takes maturity to drive it for 24 hours. It's not a sprint race."