New Zealand. The 24 hours of Spa 2021 is proving to feature a strong presence of New Zealand talent. Alongside the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Nurburgring 24 Hours, it is the most competitive GT race in the world. This will be the debut for Team Porsche New Zealand both at the 24 Hours of Spa and for the team outside of Asia and Australia. The entry is being run by Earl Bamber Motorsport in conjunction with Giga Racing and will have two Kiwi drivers in the team – Will Bamber and Reid Harker, alongside drivers Adrian Henry D’Silva (MYS / Am) and Carlos Rivas (LUX /Am). The endurance race has been held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Stavelot, Belgium since 1924, and was not paused by Covid-19 last year. The order for the weekend will be:
o Qualification: Thursday, July 29th
o Super Pole: Friday, July 30th
o Race: 16:30 Saturday, July 31st – 16:30 Sunday 1st August
Harker and Bamber are both itching to get behind the wheel again, this will be the first race for both young drivers since 2019.
Reid Harker: I’m super excited to be making my international GT3 debut with EBM and Porsche New Zealand at the 24 Hours of Spa. This is an amazing opportunity to race alongside the best in the world and I can’t wait. We have all the ingredients to challenge for the Pro-Am win so we will be pushing for a strong result.
Will Bamber: “It’s amazing to be back in the seat after such a long time. It’s been agonising but to return to racing with EBM and Team Porsche New Zealand is an amazing feeling. Spa is no joke. We have a huge challenge ahead but our team has put in a massive amount of work and we have the crew and drivers to do the job.”
The livery for Team Porsche New Zealand also features New Zealand expertise. Nike Senior Creative Director – hailing from the South Island – Jeff Docherty created the design for the 911 GT3 R. Docherty first met the Bamber brothers at Das Treffen 4 in Bangkok. They instantly clicked, sharing a passion for Porsches, Motorsport, and nationality. Docherty talks about the origins of the collaboration:
“The selected design direction evolved a lot to where it is now, its initial inspiration point was the iconic Porsche 906 that ran in the 1967 12hr Sebring race. It featured bold geometric hazard stripes that gave the car an aggressive and dynamic aesthetic. We bounced designs back and forth, but we kept coming back to 2 of the proposed designs. They both utilized iconic Porsche DNA, with subtle nods to historic Porsche race cars and colours: Miami Blue and Fashion Grey. ”
The weekend will also see Kiwi driver and EBM Team Owner Earl Bamber competing in the Pro category – #22 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (991.II) with drivers: Matthew Campbell (AUS / Pro), and Mathieu Jaminet (LUX / Pro).
The 24 hours of Spa will be run according to Belgium Covid-19 restrictions, with ticket numbers limited to local regulations. Those wishing to attend must possess proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before first entering the circuit or an antigen test taken within 48 hours.
The event follows Team Porsche New Zealand and its 2021 scholarship driver Matthew Payne achieving their first victory in the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia on the street circuit in Townsville, Queensland earlier in July, a fantastic achievement for the new team in only the third round of the Championship.