Craig Lowndes will partner Porsche factory pair Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the #1 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R for the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour.
After seeing out the previous-generation car’s racing tenure with victory on their Intercontinental GT Challenge debut in the 2019 event, the New Zealand outfit returns to the legendary mountain venue with the latest-specification Porsche 911 GT3 R, once again in the premier GT3 Pro category.
Australian Lowndes will make his Porsche debut at the IGTC curtain-raiser, having previously won the iconic endurance race twice and the Bathurst 1000 seven times which makes him the most successful driver around the 6.213 km circuit on the grid.
Bamber and Vanthoor will re-ignite the incredible partnership that led them to the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM drivers’ title, and Porsche to the teams’ and manufacturers’ titles in the Porsche 911 RSR. More recently, the duo claimed a double podium finish at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau on board the Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour will take place on January 31/February 2.
Craig Lowndes: “I’m really excited to be joining the Porsche family for the Bathurst 12 Hour with Earl and Laurens. 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. It’s my first time racing in a Porsche and the new evolution 911 GT3 R looks like a weapon, I can’t wait.”
Earl Bamber: “As a team, we are very excited to go back to Bathurst. It was amazing to win last year so returning as defending champions for Porsche will be something special. 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. He is the most successful Bathurst driver on the grid, so hopefully, he can bring some of his magic during the weekend. The prospect of taking the new generation Porsche 911 GT3 R to Bathurst is also going to be something incredible too.”
Laurens Vanthoor: “I’m very excited to drive for Earl’s team. As his team-mate, I have been following EBM closely over the last couple of years and this is a great opportunity to be part of, especially alongside a Bathurst legend such as Craig. Winning Bathurst is still a dream of mine and I have come close to date, but I hope to succeed this year.”
Alexandre Gibot, Head of Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific: “The Bathurst 12 Hour is always one of the highlights of our year, and we are kicking off 2020 with a bang. It’s fantastic to have Earl Bamber Motorsport back at Mount Panorama, defending their Bathurst crown for Porsche. We’re also excited as we continue to bring new drivers into the Porsche family with Craig Lowndes getting his first experience in the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Alongside Earl and Laurens, we are very eager to see them on track.”
Credit – John Goodwan, Dailysportscar.com