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BAMBER: #Bamthor Reunites in Florida

Porsche’s Earl Bamber checks into Sportscar365 ahead of this weekend’s return to racing for IMSA…

Photo: Porsche

We have been on lockdown all across the world for months now and you guys have read and seen what we’ve been up to in isolation. But now we have a calendar to go racing again and it’s not that far away! I am massively excited to get back to the track and see our motorsport family.

However as excited as we are to all go back racing, it’s not going to be the same due to COVID-19 but also because several weeks ago we had the news that this will be the last season of GTLM for Porsche in IMSA.

We have built such an amazing team over the past six years with CORE autosport, Porsche Cars North America and Porsche AG. It’s really like a second family for many of us.

Many of the guys have been there since day one; it’s where I have grown as a Porsche factory driver and we’ve just won our first championship together last season.

We did a Zoom meeting just after the announcement with our car crew of the No. 912 and it was tough. You always hear and see things about other manufacturers, but you don’t think about it… until it touches you. Porsche is built on motorsport and there were zero rumors about it, so it came as a real blow for everyone.

Of course, Porsche never stops racing. Its strong customer program continues on in IMSA, supporting teams in the GTD category, Michelin Pilot Challenge and the Porsche GT3 Cup.

So, for all of us, when we unload the trucks in Daytona, it will be all about winning all the GTLM championships one final time for Porsche and this amazing crew in America. Everyone is as hungry as ever to go out and finish what we have built on a high note!!

Seeing one of the biggest players in sports car racing step aside is a good reminder for our industry to work out new approaches to one of our sport’s biggest Achille’s heels, which is the ever-increasing costs of the sport. I know from running a team where the money gets spent and sometimes it’s not the areas you think that are the most expensive.

The COVID break has created an opportunity for teams, OEMs and various stakeholders to come up with creative solutions that we otherwise would have never look at as we are so focused on the winning the next race or finding a few extra tenths [of a second]. Hopefully, we can use some of these new solutions to curb costs in the long run.

We’re counting down the hours to Daytona and can’t wait to get back on track and bring home some trophies!

Earl Bamber (@EarlBamber) is a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, 2017 FIA WEC champion and 2019 IMSA GTLM champion, driving for Porsche customer racing and Kelly Grove Racing in Australian Supercars.

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