Former Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour class winner David Calvert-Jones has teamed up with Earl Bamber Motorsport for this year’s run in the GT3 Pro-Am class, which features title sponsorship from NED Australian whiskey.
Set to run under the NED Racing Team banner, the U.S.-based Australian will be joined by Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas and rising star Jaxon Evans in the No. 12 entry, run by EBM in conjunction with McElrea Racing.
Calvert-Jones has been an ever-present at Mt. Panorama since 2013, initially in a Class B Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car before transitioning into GT3-spec machinery.
He claimed the Pro-Am class win and overall podium in 2017 in a Competition Motorports-run Porsche one year prior to being in contention for the overall win if not for a late-race red flag.
“We think this is a proven and successful combination and the Bamber crew certainly know what it takes to win at The Mountain,” Calvert-Jones said.
“As always, this would not be possible without our sponsors and I’m really pleased to be welcoming NED aboard as well as our returning sponsors Virgin Australia and UMS.
“It’s great to have Jaxon back with us and a proven racer like Romain just rounds things out perfectly.
“After a great test in Kuala Lumpur recently, we can’t wait to jump in the car for first practice and see what we can do.”
The upstart whiskey brand, which has become EBM’s naming rights partner for 2020, has spent more than $20 million AUD on a state-of-the-art production facility in Melbourne, with the brand set to be introduced throughout Australia over the next 12 months.
“This partnership with EBM is a great fit for NED given the team’s professionalism, achievements and hunger for success,” said Top Shelf International chairman Adem Karafili.
“I know that our managing director Drew Fairchild, staff, investors and supporters are as excited as I am by this partnership.”
Porsche Junior Evans will return alongside Calvert-Jones after making his Porsche 911 GT3 R debut last year.
“I’m very excited to not only re-join David Calvert-Jones but to team up with the experienced Romain Dumas and the Earl Bamber Motorsport crew for this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour,” Evans said.
“It’s the perfect way to kick off 2020 in the new 911 GT3 R.
“A mixture of new and familiar faces with some of the McElrea Racing crew joining the team will hopefully put us near the pointy end come Sunday.”
EBM team co-principal Will Bamber added: “We are really delighted to be adding a second car, with the No. 12 NED Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, for our assault at the mountain.
“Not only will be pushing for the Pro-Am victory but the line-up of David, Jaxon and Romain, will hold their own in the overall standings too.
“It is a tough race as we all know and we expect another tight year of competition, so to have the support of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific and joining forces with McElrea Racing for this entry is fantastic.”
The NED entry joins EBM’s GT3 Pro effort featuring Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber and seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes, which was announced on Monday.