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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Lowndes to Join Bamber, Vanthoor at EBM for Bathurst

Meguiar’s-backed EBM Porsche to feature Lowndes, Bamber, Vanthoor…

Photo: Porsche

Seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes will team up with Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber in EBM’s Pro class Porsche 911 GT3 R for next month’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

The trio will share the Meguiar’s-liveried No. 1 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche in the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season.

It will mark Lowndes’ first appearance in a Porsche having previously driven a Ferrari 458 GT3, Ferrari 488 GT3, McLaren 650s GT3 and most recently a Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3.

In that time, Lowndes has claimed two Bathurst 12 Hour victories, both for Ferrari, however, but will now be a part of the defending race-winning team.

It’s understood the now-retired Virgin Australia Supercars star was forced out of the Triple Eight lineup for this year due to the team’s request for a Mercedes-AMG factory driver alongside Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.

Focussing on his EBM team principal role Bamber did not compete in last year’s race, with the Kiwi jumping back behind the wheel alongside longtime co-driver Vanthoor.

The duo won last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans title sharing a factory Porsche 911 RSR.

Bamber revealed to Sportscar365 late last year that a lineup featuring the two drivers was likely.

”As a team we really very excited to go to the event. Obviously last year was amazing to win the race so to be able to return as defending champions for Porsche will be something special,” said Bamber.

“As a driver, it will be awesome to team up with Laurens as we had a lot of success in America last year and follow each other all around the world racing.

“We are both really excited to have a legend in Craig Lowndes join the team and drive our car.

“He is the most successful Bathurst driver on the grid, so hopefully, he can bring us some of that Lowndesy magic during the Bathurst 12 Hour weekend.

“The prospect of taking the new generation 911 GT3 R to Bathurst is also going to be something incredible too and we are genuinely excited to have Meguiar’s come on board as they are such an iconic brand.”

Lowndes is widely considered to be the most successful driver at Mount Panorama.

“I’m really excited to be joining the Porsche family for the Bathurst 12 Hour, teaming up with factory drivers Earl and Laurens,” he said

“Earl Bamber Motorsport is the reigning race-winning team so it’s exciting to help them defend their title. Earl and I have been team-mates in the past and get on extremely well, so with a Belgian in the mix, it should also be a bit of fun too.

“It’s my first time racing in a Porsche and the new evolution 911 GT3 R looks like a weapon, I can’t wait.”

EBM will also field a GT3 Pro-Am class Porsche, which is expected to be announced shortly.

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

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