BATHURST legend Craig Lowndes will join Porsche stars Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in a headline combination that Earl Bamber Motorsport hopes can lead them to back-to-back Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour victories.
Multiple Bathurst 1000 winner Lowndes will line up with Porsche factory team-mates Bamber and Vanthoor in a Meguiar’s liveried 911 GT3 R for the 2020 event.
As one of the most successful drivers in history on the famed Mount Panorama circuit, Lowndes’ Bathurst resume includes seven Bathurst 1000 wins and two Bathurst 12 Hour victories.
In 2019, Lowndes finished fourth after starting from 19th on the grid in an action-packed race, which saw Matt Campbell cross the line first in an outstanding debut in the Intercontinental GT Challenge for the Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM) team.
“I’m really excited to be joining the Porsche family for the Bathurst 12 Hour, teaming up with factory drivers Earl and Laurens. Earl Bamber Motorsport is the reigning race winning team so it’s exciting to help them defend their title,” Lowndes said.
“Earl and I have been teammates in the past and get on extremely well, so with a Belgian in the mix, it should also be a bit of fun too. It’s my first time racing in a Porsche and the new evolution 911 GT3 R looks like a weapon, I can’t wait.”
As team principal of the winning entry on that occasion, Bamber’s EBM team handed Porsche its Bathurst 12-hour victory in one of the last race appearances for the previous generation 911 GT3 R.
The New Zealander gets back behind the wheel for the 2020 assault in the new 911 GT3 R and will again resume his successful partnership with Vanthoor.
The Porsche factory duo enjoyed great success as a driver pairing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship (IWSC) in the US last year, winning the GTLM championship sharing a factory 911 RSR.
“As a team we really very excited to go to the event. Obviously last year was amazing to win the race so to be able to return as defending champions for Porsche will be something special. As a driver, it will be awesome to team up with Laurens as we had a lot of success in America last year and follow each other all around the world racing,” Bamber said.
“We are both really excited to have a legend in Craig Lowndes join the team and drive our car. He is the most successful Bathurst driver on the grid, so hopefully he can bring us some of that Lowndesy magic during the Bathurst 12 Hour weekend.
“The prospect of taking the new generation 911 GT3 R to Bathurst is also going to be something incredible too and we are genuinely excited to have Meguiar’s come on board as they are such an iconic brand. I would like to thank Meguiar’s and everyone behind the scenes at Porsche who has made this opportunity happen.”
With two of the most accomplished Porsche factory drivers teaming up with the most successful Bathurst driver on the 2020 grid in Lowndes – in the reigning Bathurst 12 Hour-winning team – the combination promises to be one of the strongest teams among this year’s 40 car grid, which features representation from 11 different GT3 manufacturers.
“I’m very excited to drive for Earl’s team,” Vanthoor added.
“As his team-mate I have been following EBM closely the last couple of years and this is a great opportunity to be part of, teaming up with a Bathurst legend such as Craig. Winning Bathurst is still a dream of mine and I have come close to date, but hope to succeed this year. I’m also curious to see how Earl is going to drive, while managing his own team.”
As a result of this dynamic union, premium car care brand Meguiar’s Australia has thrown its support behind the star-studded #1 Earl Bamber Motorsport entry, with the 911 GT3 R sporting a dynamic black and yellow livery for the Endurance race.
As part of their renewed partnership with the Porsche brand, Meguiar’s Australia will also provide a car care package to each of the Porsche 911 GT3 R teams competing in the 2020 event.
“We are delighted to extend our association with Porsche Motorsport to include sponsorship of the Bathurst 12 Hour title defending team,” said Bruce Morrison, Managing Director of Meguiar’s Australia and MotorActive.
“Having Craig Lowndes team up with Bamber and Vanthoor in the new 911 GT3 R is a stunning combination. There is no other car brand that inspires a passion for performance quite like Porsche does and we feel honoured to have our Meguiar’s brand be part of that driving experience.”
The 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour event takes place from 31 January to 2 February, reverting to a three-day format this year. Practice begins on Friday followed by qualifying on Saturday. The race beginning before sunrise on Sunday at 5:45am local time. The race will be broadcast in Australia on the Seven Network and FOX Sports, as well as streamed globally via https://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/.