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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bamber “Penciled Down” for Additional Porsche GT3 Races

New Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi driver set to continue GT3 outings in Europe…

Photo: Porsche

Earl Bamber is set for additional outings in a Porsche 911 GT3 R and potentially other GT3 machinery this year, with the Kiwi having received permission from Chip Ganassi Racing to pursue racing opportunities outside of his IMSA DPi commitments.

The ex-Porsche factory driver, who is now under the Cadillac umbrella in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, has outlined plans to contest both the Nürburgring 24 and TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa this year.

Bamber said he’s been “penciled down” to be in Porsches in both events, believed to be with KCMG, although the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner declined to confirm details of the arrangement.

“It’s really nice,” Bamber told Sportscar365.

“We can do the prototype stuff but when I was talking to them I said, ‘Look, there’s a couple big races that I haven’t won, Nürburgring is one of them, so I’d really like to do that race to try and win it overall and tick that box.’

“It’s nice to be able to still do that with different manufacturers. It’s also easy because I can drive any of them.”

Bamber contested last year’s Nürburgring 24 with Frikadelli Racing, while having won the Paul Ricard 1000 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup round with GPX Racing as part of his full-season effort with the team, all while not being contracted as a Porsche factory driver.

While not expected to return full-time in Europe, Bamber said he’s thankful to CGR and Cadillac for allowing him to continue pursuing racing endeavors outside of his new full-season DPi drive.

“At the end of the day I still want to win some of the big races,” he said.

“Nürburgring is obviously a big target and Spa [24] and stuff like that. I’d like to also get a drive for Le Mans that I still need to sort out.

“There’s a few things in the pipeline to do some of those ‘highlight races’ so to speak.”

Bamber said his GT3 drives are not necessarily limited to Porsches, having recently tested a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo while in Thailand for the Thailand Super Series.

EBM Had Plans to Run Bathurst 12H With Pro Class Porsche

Bamber revealed that Earl Bamber Motorsport had plans to field a Pro class Porsche in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour prior to the event’s postponement to May.

The Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season opener has been moved from late February to May 13-15 due to a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Australia, which has sparked concerns from a number of international teams and drivers.

The team currently owns two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.

“This date is really not good for everyone with logistics,” Bamber said. “I’m not sure how everyone’s going to do that, quite frankly. 

“We had a Pro car entered for Bathurst [before the date change] but we’re not sure logistically how it will work out with car allocations. 

“Basically you have to throw one car in Australia and it’s out of the loop for four months. It’s a big ask for everything. We have to see how it pans out. 

“If it’s possible with the logistics, we’ll still do the Pro car.”

Bamber said EBM plans to contest the remaining IGTC races this year in Pro-Am, including a second car at the 24H Spa and an entry in the GTWC Europe round at Paul Ricard.

Additional 24H Series powered by Pirelli races are also in the works beyond last weekend’s 6H Abu Dhabi along with a return to GTWC Asia if SRO Motorsports Group’s relaunch plans materialize.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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