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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Brake Issues Halt EBM’s Bathurst Defense Hopes

EBM fails to defend Bathurst 12 Hour victory after brake issues for No. 1 Porsche 911 GT3 R…

Photo: Porsche

Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor both felt they could have been on the podium in Sunday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour had their Porsche 911 GT3 R not suffered early brake issues.

The reigning IMSA GT Le Mans class champions and five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes finished two laps behind in ninth overall after being forced to make an emergency brake change in the sixth hour.

Bamber told Sportscar365 that the brakes were “on the steel” of the EBM Porsche at the time of the change, which cost the defending race-winning team three laps.

“We needed to wait 20 minutes and we would have been alright,” Bamber said on the unlucky timing of a subsequent safety car period.

“We were just trying to survive in the first couple of stints, waiting for a safety car. Unfortunately there was so much green at the moment there were no safety car.”

“It’s a shame. After that, we were quick. I think we were the quickest Porsche in the second half of the race.”

It’s understood the team had a change of brake supplier since last year’s race, which could have contribute to the issues.

“Until we changed brakes we were struggling with a long pedal and a consistent pedal, which was really weird,” Vanthoor told Sportscar365.

“First of all we’re not the quickest on the straight and with the brakes, we weren’t able to overtake somebody. So we were struggling with that. 

“When we changed it, our car got really good.”

EBM ended up as the third-best Porsche team on Sunday, behind the pair of Absolute Racing-run entries.

The pole-sitting No. 911 Porsche fought back from a right-rear puncture in the fourth hour and a 15-second penalty for a breach of the pit stop protocol to finish fourth.

Absolute’s No. 912 entry, meanwhile, dropped back after being forced to make a fuel-only final stop with 17 minutes to go.

“I think we would have been on the podium,” Bamber said. “We could have had the pace to be there.

“You could never say we would end up [on the top] roster but if you look at some of the stint times I think we were there or there abouts, competitive enough.”

EBM wasn’t the only team to change brakes in the race as both of the Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3s did so too, but under a safety car.

“I think a lot of other competitors had brake issues as well,” Bamber said. “Maybe we would have still had to change at some point in time.

“It’s quite interesting as it [shows] how intense the race is now. It used to be, a couple of years ago, 22 safety cars, and this was five.

“Teams, preparations, drivers. There’s small details that cost you a lot. I don’t think it was a lucky day for Porsche in general.

“For us it was positive as we could show we had really good speed.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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