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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bamber’s Team Soaking Up “Big Pressure” of GT3 Debut

Bamber “didn’t have much of a Christmas” preparing for his team’s race debut at Bathurst…

Photo: Porsche

Earl Bamber says his eponymous GT3 team is dealing with the “big pressure” that has come with leading Porsche’s entry into the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Earl Bamber Motorsport, which was formed last year, is running two factory-supported Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in this weekend’s Intercontinental GT Challenge season-opener, with six works drivers across the entries.

Romain Dumas, Sven Mueller and Mathieu Jaminet will pilot the No. 911 car, while Dirk Werner, Dennis Olsen and Matt Campbell are in the No. 912.

Bamber, who is team owner and manager of EBM, told Sportscar365 that he “didn’t get much of a Christmas” as he prepared for the squad’s GT3 debut.

“We have to leave absolutely no stone unturned in terms of preparation, in terms of making sure we’ve got plans and a backup plan of everything,” he said.

“Our crew, if we include the Porsche people, is around 45 people. If I do it, I do it well. Maybe I’ve overdone it, but I’d prefer to be that way than to be the opposite way.

“I didn’t get much of a Christmas. I did a lot of entry form stuff, that sort of carry-on. We’ve been working pretty hard in the last month, and I think it came about that we’d do it on Dec. 10 [a week before the cars were flown to Bathurst] so very, very late!

“I feel quite confident and I think we’ve got most boxes ticked now. The goal for us is to put on a good show, and to be as professional as we can.”

Bamber’s original intention was to drive at Bathurst, but his plans changed when EBM became the designated team to run the Porsche full-season IGTC lineups in the Australian enduro.

“I wanted to try and go with a Pro car there with myself as a driver but obviously with the fixed lineups, and then with the talk of doing it as a team, I said to Porsche I’d rather not go on a Pro-Am car,” he said.

“I’d rather fully focus on doing the best job for Porsche down there as an owner, as an experienced driver, about how to get it done.”

Some of the EBM’s Bathurst equipment has come from its Porsche Carrera Cup stable in Malaysia, while some of the staff went to Porsche’s HQ in Germany to help assemble the cars.

Bamber has described the team’s expansion into GT3 racing as a “continuation” of its commitment to bringing drivers from the road car market into racing through its Carrera Cup program, which is expected to run four cars in 2019.

“The core business is still [Carrera Cup] because Cup’s always there,” he said.

“GT3 comes and goes, especially if you have customers. Also, we’re quite heavily involved in the Porsche driving experience out there as well, and we also supply instructors and equipment for that.

“That’s also why we have a lot of equipment already.”

EBM Targeting Further GT3 Races

Bamber wants to enter more GT3 events this season, with possible further Intercontinental GT Challenge outings in the pipeline.

He also hinted at representing Porsche in the FIA GT World Cup at Macau, where he finished on the podium in a Manthey-run Porsche in 2016.

“I would like to do Macau with two or three cars,” said Bamber.

“That’s also because we normally have local support from the sponsors. I’d like to target to go to Suzuka as well, as part of the IGTC.

“All of the equipment after Bathurst goes back to where we’re based in Kuala Lumpur, so we’ve tried to buy everything that Porsche would say to buy, so it’s the same equipment as they would have.

“Now we have a base of equipment out there so we can go wherever we can go.”

John Dagys contributed to this report.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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