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BAMBER: Welcome to Racing in Australasia

Porsche’s Earl Bamber files his first Sportscar365 column following a busy February…

Photo: Porsche

It’s awesome to be sharing a Sportscar365 column this year with Laurens.

I figured you might be tired of reading about bikes and babies. I think my columns will give a little bit of insight into another side of racing.

You’ll get my perspective on owning a team while racing and traveling around the world at the same time.

For my team, Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM), our first major event of the year was the Bathurst 12 Hour. We ran two Porsche 911 GT3 R’s in the Pro and ProAm classes.

Obviously, this was a very special event for me as I got to race my own car and have Laurens share it with me.

To have him join the team was cool as he got to see what we at EBM have been working on for the past two years.

On the flip side, it was a bit nerve racking to see him drive one of my cars because if he had crashed, I’d be footing the bill.

Photo: EBM

Larry and I were lucky enough to have Craig Lowndes come and race with us.

Growing up, I watched Craig race in the Supercars Championship and remember from a very young age watching his success especially at Bathurst with his first win of the 1000 in 1994.

To be standing next to him as a team owner and have him in one of our cars and be there as his co-driver was a phenomenal feeling. Sort of like a dream come true, it was amazing.

Although a great weekend for the team, we ended up being quite disappointed with our race. We had brake pad issues and aren’t sure what happened. We had tested them before the race weekend but that’s just the way racing goes.

Photo: Craig Lowndes Twitter

In light of the recent devastation in Australia caused by the bushfires we decided to make some limited edition Bamthor X Lowndes t-shirts to raise some money for the bushfire relief.

I’m proud we could contribute to those who were in need when areas near Bathurst needed our support.

Since Bathurst I have jetted off home to New Zealand. I was finally able to attend the Leadfoot festival, held by friends of mine Rod and Shelley Millen.

They’re a family who are mad keen on motor racing so to be able to have the chance to attend their festival after trying to for a while was absolutely amazing and something I have been wanting to do for the last couple of years.

I had been suggesting to them to move the date of the event so it wouldn’t clash with Bathurst and they finally listened to my advice.

What I didn’t realize when coming to the Leadfoot Festival was that I was driving.

I volunteered to bring my GT2 RS with me. I bought this car after winning Le Mans in 2017 and it is very special to me as Timo, Brendon and myself all have the same car just in slightly different colors.

I actually thought I was only doing demo runs up and down the hill but all of a sudden, I was entered in my road car to do a hill climb.

I didn’t even have any race gear with me but now I have a sticker on the side of my car to show that I drove it in my first ever hill climb.

I also got to drive a 1906 Darracq which was crazy. It has a 14.4 liter engine and I cannot believe how fast those guys used to drive them back in the day.

They could get up to 100 mph without any safety measures and I think I only did 30 and had the car in a full wheel spin with the chassis flexing and flicking sideways. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like back when they were racing on dirt roads, so hats off to them.

I really enjoyed my few days at Leadfoot and would say to any motor racing fan that it was definitely worth going to. Naturally when I was at Porsche fitness camp a few days later, I was mostly wishing I was driving up the hill at Leadfoot.

I am sure that I will check back in soon as I have got some really cool yet different things happening with racing and I hope that you will continue to follow the trials and tribulations of Bamthor throughout the year as well.

Photo: Porsche

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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