Australian team Grove Racing is linking up with Earl Bamber Motorsport for its TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa debut this summer with a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Pro-Am class winning team will tackle the Pro-Am class of the Belgian enduro, with technical and operational support from EBM’s European outpost in Germany.
Team owner and driver Stephen Grove told Sportscar365 that he is set to share the Porsche with his son Brenton, as well as Super2 Series points leader Matthew Payne and Adrian D’Silva.
Stephen and D’Silva are the two Bronze-rated drivers required for a Pro-Am class lineup in the 24 Hours of Spa and the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup.
Long-time Grove Racing professional hire Ben Barker is unable to join the team for the race in July because he is already committed to the full Endurance Cup season in a Gold Cup-class Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo run by Barwell Motorsport.
Herberth Motorsport has previously supported Grove Racing’s GT3 endeavors in major events such as the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour and this year’s Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, but the team has struck a deal with EBM for its upcoming European excursion.
“Herberth did Dubai for us, but for this one Earl is going to run the car,” Grove told Sportscar365.
“We’ll send it to Europe after the 12 Hour. We’ll have a two-day test for the Spa 24 Hours, and then we’ll use it at Spa. And then it will probably stay in Germany.”
It is understood that the team’s plans to air-freight the car to Germany this week are unaffected by an accident for the Grove Porsche at last weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour, which caused its retirement from the race.
With the car being stationed at EBM throughout the summer, Grove Racing’s GT3 program in Australia is set to be limited this year.
“I’ll do some Carrera Cup, only some rounds,” he said.
“We’ve done one GTWC Australia round, we’ve done the Dubai 24 Hours, Bathurst, and we’ll do the Spa 24 Hour.”
The Groves are also set to represent Australia in the Marseille FIA Motorsport Games in October, but that is currently the only other GT3 race planned beyond Spa.
It is unclear if EBM will be providing technical assistance for that program, in addition to Spa.
Bathurst and Spa mark the first two rounds of the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.
When asked if his team intends to complete the IGTC season by entering the Indianapolis 8 Hour and the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, Grove said: “It’s hard now. Once the car gets to Germany, we’ll work out what we’re going to do.”
Grove Racing’s support link-up for the 24 Hours of Spa connects it with the team that finished fifth in the Pro-Am class last year with D’Silva, Will Bamber, Reid Harker and Carlos Rivas driving.
Additionally, EBM co-owner Earl Bamber won the 24 Hours of Spa as a Porsche factory driver with ROWE Racing in 2019.