Earl Bamber Motorsport has enlisted seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes and Porsche factory drivers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor to defend its Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour title this February.
The Kiwi squad, which is co-owned by Bamber brothers Earl and Will, claimed a sensational victory at Mount Panorama last season and set Porsche on the path towards Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli title success.
It returns this year with a two-car entry split between the Pro and Pro/Am classes. And while the latter line-up remains under wraps, EBM’s professional crew has been hand-picked from the top drawer.
Supercars legend Lowndes is also a dab hand in GT cars around Mount Panorama. Indeed, two 12 Hour victories – in 2014 and ’17 – plus another podium in 2011 and fourth place last season make him one of the most accomplished drivers in the event’s history.
“I’m really excited to be joining the Porsche family for the Bathurst 12 Hour, teaming up with factory drivers Earl and Laurens,” said Lowndes. “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.”
Lowndes joins Bamber and 2016 Intercontinental GT Challenge Drivers’ Champion Vanthoor – collectively known as Bamthor – in the Meguiar’s-backed #1 Porsche 911 GT3 R, which makes its Bathurst debut this year.
The duo won IMSA’s GTLM title together in 2019 when they also made several Intercontinental outings with Porsche. However, it will be the first time that Vanthoor has driven for Bamber’s team, which usually competes in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
“I’m very excited to drive for Earl’s team,” said Vanthoor. “As his team-mate I have been following EBM closely the last couple of years and this is a great opportunity to be part of, teaming up with a Bathurst legend such as Craig. Winning Bathurst is still a dream of mine and I have come close to date, but hope to succeed this year. I’m also curious to see how Earl is going to drive, while managing his own team.”
Intercontinental’s season opener takes place on January 31-February 2.