The top step at Le Mans is a long way from the farm in Whanganui, but Earl Bamber certainly put in the miles to get there. The two-time Le Mans winner and factory Porsche racer is now among the world’s most qualified sportscar and endurance racers and his Earl Bamber Motorsport team currently competes in Asia, Australia, and Europe in Porsche 911 GT3 R and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup categories.
With a career that’s seen him pilot Karts, Formula Renault and BMW, Toyota Racing Series (including winning the NZGP in 2010), A1GP, GP2, Sportscars, World Endurance and even appearances in Australia’s Supercars and USA’s NASCAR, it’s easier for Earl Bamber to name circuits in the world he hasn’t raced at than the ones he has. Most notably, Bamber is recognised for the success he’s achieved in Porsche machinery, including multiple Carrera Cup Championships, a Supercup and Sportscar Championship, the World Endurance LMP1 Championship and two Le Mans 24 hour wins.
He also has a strong affinity with Australia’s Mount Panorama and has tasted victory with two Class B victories in the Bathurst 12 hour to his name driving with Grove racing including partnering with fellow kiwi, Scott McLaughlin for the win in 2016. He also co-drove to fifth position with Shane van Gisbergen in the 2018 Bathurst 1000 supercar event.
In 2019 he celebrated an outstanding debut for his newly formed team, Earl Bamber Motorsport, leading the team to an outright victory of the Bathurst 12 and clinching Porsche’s first ever outright victory of the 12-hour race with the 911 GT3 R.
2021 SEASON RESULTS
For a driver who competes all over the world, one of the challenges Bamber faced in 2021 was one of scheduling. The silver lining was, along with Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM) contesting various series around the globe with various drivers, including Earl’s very capable younger brother, Will. Bamber himself could focus on expanding the EBM business and, alongside Porsche New Zealand, developed a young driver scholarship programme that leverages Australia’s Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge. Bamber was determined to create world class opportunities for young drivers, much like how the now-defunct A1GP series did for him.
“The idea was, back when I went through the motor racing levels, there was always a pathway and there was a very good pathway especially with the [New Zealand] A1GP junior programme they had at the time,” said Bamber.
Among the EBM drivers competing in Australia is Callum Hedge and Madeline Stewart. As a driver, Earl Bamber contested Le Mans in a 911 RSR with Weathertech Racing in August and he had a full dance card in the back half of 2021. Frustratingly however, a COVID-19 impacted Bathurst 1000 schedule meant Bamber had to relinquish confirmed co-driving duties with Andre Heimgartner and Kelly Grove Racing. Bamber has signed on with Chip Ganassi Racing to contest the top tier IMSA Sportscar Championship in 2022 and the new Bathurst dates clashed with commitments in USA.
Bamber rounded out the year winning the Thailand Super Series title with co-driver, Piti Bhirombhakdi. The drivers of the EBM-assisted Singha Motorsport Team Thailand Porsche 911 GT3 R claimed victory in the second of two 60-minute races on Christmas Day.
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