Earl Bamber Motorsport is set for its GT3 debut, with a two-car Porsche 911 GT3 R program in the works for February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Malaysian-based team, founded by the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, will represent Porsche in the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, in a deal that Bamber says came together “quite last minute.”
“Last year I decided to create the team for Carrera Cup [Asia],” he told Sportscar365. “It was always an ambition to move up to GT3. It’s come earlier than expected but there was a good chance and opportunity. We’re going to run with it and see what comes about.”
EBM, which fielded three Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the highly competitive single-make championship this year, recently made its endurance racing debut in October’s 2018-19 Asian Le Mans Series season-opening round at Shanghai as part of the one-off Porsche Endurance Trophy class.
Bamber said further details on the Bathurst program, including driver lineups, will be announced next month at the team’s launch event in China.
As the only Pro class Porsches currently on the entry list for the Feb. 3 event, Sportscar365 understands the seats will likely be filled by Porsche’s previously announced lineup of full-season IGTC drivers, although Bamber declined to comment.
EBM’s entries are expected take the place of Manthey Racing and Craft Bamboo Racing, which Bamber drove for in this year’s event at Mt. Panorama.
“There’s a lot of excitement. I can say most of my guys are quite excited about it as well,” Bamber said. “I think in due course you’ll see how the arrangement works. It’s not solely myself; there’s a lot of help and support behind the scenes. But it’s quite a cool chance.”
While currently confirmed for Bathurst only, Bamber said it’s his personal goal for the team to also contest the Suzuka 10 Hours in August, although a decision has not yet been taken.
“If [Bathurst] works well, then hopefully there’s a chance,” he said.
Bamber Excited for “Different Role” in Bathurst 12H
While having taken part in the race as a driver for the last three years, Bamber said he’s excited for the change of roles, which will see him focus entirely on team management at Bathurst.
“I’ll be standing in the pits, taking notes and criticizing all the other drivers this time!” he said. “It will be a different role but it’s going to be quite good fun. We have a good team of people.”
The 28-year-old Kiwi is the latest Porsche factory driver to take on a team ownership role, joining Timo Bernhard (Team75 Bernhard), Nick Tandy (JTR) and Romain Dumas, all with customer Porsche machinery.
“You’ve got four works drivers that are currently owning teams or running a business with Porsche,” Bamber said. “I think it’s very cool that there’s these opportunities because it’s something quite unique with Porsche.
“There’s such a good business model and platform around it, and also with the pyramid it works very well.”