THEY WON the race on their international GT3 racing debut and now Earl Bamber Motorsport are targeting a return to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in 2020.
Sportscar website, Dailysportscar.com, has reported that the EBM squad are working on plans to return to the Mountain in an effort to defend their Bathurst crown.
The team burst onto the scene last year, predominantly running cars in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – before expanding into GT3 racing at the 12-hour in a race that delivered Porsche their first major Bathurst triumph in a thrilling finish.
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Former World Endurance Champion Earl Bamber told Dailysportscar.com that the team was progressing on plans to return to Bathurst, indicating that it could also bring another former 12-Hour star back to the Mountain as well.
“From a team side, we want to go down, that’s the goal, that’s the aim right now. We’re working on budgets and sponsorship right now,” he said.
“I’d like to go with myself and Laurens actually, it’s a race we haven’t won. I’ve won it as a team, now I want to win it as a driver. Laurens and I will go down there with one other driver that will be TBC. We could probably put ‘Bamthor’ stickers on it or something!”
Vanthoor was a 12-Hour star for Audi and though never won the race has a striking record at Bathurst, having finished in the top five every time he has finished the race.
After finishing fifth on debut in 2014, he finished second for Audi in 2015 – beaten only by the charging Nissan GTR in the final two laps in one of the race’s most famous finishes.
He then finished fourth a year later, perhaps most famously hustling his Audi across the top of the Mountain to compensate for it’s straight-line speed deficit under the 2016 BoP regulations.
A shift to become a Porsche factory ace in 2017 resulted in an unfortunate non-finish that year, though he partnered with Bamber and Kevin Estre’ in a Craft-Bamboo Racing entry to finish fifth a year later – a race that could have delivered a Porsche victory had it gone full distance.
That race was the beginning of the now famous ‘Bamthor’ partnership between Bamber and Vanthoor that has seen the pair compete together in GT3 and GTE competition for the last two seasons.
Fifth represents Bamber’s best result as a driver in Australia’s International Enduro, however he won Class B driving for Grove Racing in 2014.
Porsche will return to the Mountain in numbers next year, with multiple 2019-specification GT3Rs expected to race, though are yet to confirm which teams will run their ‘factory’ component challenging for Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli points.