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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bamber: EBM “Better Prepared” for Bathurst Title Defense

Predominantly EBM personnel to run defending winners’ and NED Racing cars…

Photo: Porsche

Earl Bamber Motorsport team co-owner Earl Bamber feels his squad is “better prepared” for this weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour following a “rushed” debut at last year’s race.

Bamber’s team, which he owns and runs alongside his brother Will Bamber, arrives at Mount Panorama as the defending winners after claiming the outright victory on debut last year.

The outfit’s success came amidst a ‘rushed’ period of preparations in the lead up to the 2019 event having only established their GT3 program weeks before, with the squad largely made up of Manthey Racing personnel at Bathurst.

However, at this year’s event, the team is predominantly EBM’s own crew of more than 30 personnel as Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor and new signing Craig Lowndes looks to defend the No. 1 sticker.

“We have one or two minions for the big race, but predominantly it’s just our own guys,” Bamber told Sportscar365.

“Since Bathurst last year we’ve been working away, chipping away at it. We’ve got quite a big expansion this year into GT3, it’s not just Bathurst, so from that side it’s our big kick-off race.

“I think we are better prepared than last year; obviously last year was last minute to prepare everything so we were sort of rushing, but we had good support from Porsche and also from Manthey Racing.

“This year we’ve sort of been working on it so I think we are better prepared.

“It’s good to have Laurens and myself in the car, really looking forward to that and the nice addition is for Craig to join the Porsche family in our car.

“He’s been super enthusiastic and he’s been wanting to get in the Porsche for a long time.

“I think he also wants to do Le Mans one day so it’s a nice step to come into the Porsche family and try it.

“He hasn’t tested the car yet so the first time will be at the Mountain, but obviously he knows the Mountain well enough so he just needs to learn the Porsche.”

As well as running their own car, EBM is also supporting NED Racing Team in a Porsche entry for David Calvert-Jones, Jaxon Evans, and Romain Dumas.

EBM took the program under its wing after Calvert-Jones’ original plans for Bathurst didn’t materialize, with Bamber purchasing a car for NED to run at Mount Panorama.

The plan is for EBM to then use the chassis for the remainder of its 2020 program.

“With David, it came together very, very late, I think he had a deal and something happened and he called us up and said ‘Is it possible to do the race?’” Bamber commented.

“We actually bought a car for him to do the race with and it will turn into another program later; it just sort of bumped forward our plans with that.

“That car’s supported with some McElrea guys as well because originally they were supposed to run that car so he didn’t want to leave those guys high and dry so they’ve merged a little bit into us, so that will be cool.”

Lowndes Taking Tips on Porsche

Bamber says he has been giving tips to Lowndes in the lead up to Bathurst, with the latter having not driven the Porsche before.

“We’ve just been bringing him up to date with what we’ve been doing testing wise and where the car is at,” Bamber said.

“I think the main thing when you get in the car is just to drive it once and then let him judge it from there, he’s got a lot of experience. I think the car’s quite different from the Audi, Ferrari, and Mercedes that he’s driven last year.

“There’s a little bit of team rivalry there with Roland [Dane, Triple Eight] and myself which will be quite fun as well, but they’ve been fantastic to deal with.

“What’s also nice is that the fans have really accepted it as well, which is pretty cool so all in and all we’re looking forward to it.”

Slade Perrins is an Australian-based reporter for Sportscar365. Perrins won the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars 'Young Gun Award' for journalism for his work with

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