With Matt Campbell unable to join Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Shane van Gisbergen for 2018’s endurance season, World Endurance Championship winner Earl Bamber is set to race with his fellow Kiwi.
Bamber, who has secured two Le Mans 24-Hour wins in 2015 and 2017 for Porsche, will race with van Gisbergen at Sandown, the Gold Coast and Bathurst during the 2018 season in the number 97 Commodore.
Having driven with the likes of Nico Hülkenberg and Timo Bernhard in the WEC, Bamber will continue to race for Porsche’s GT squad in 2018.
However, with no calendar clashes for the three Supercars enduro races, Bamber says he’s keen to get on-board.
“To be honest, the Bathurst 1000 and going to Australia to do that race as a co-driver has been on my radar for a long time.
“Porsche has known I’ve wanted to do it, and 2018 is the first time where we haven’t had a calendar clash for the past three or four years. So as soon as I saw 2018 could be a possibility, I started to do some research.”
It won’t be the first time Bamber shares a track with van Gisbergen, though in the past it was more of a friendly rivalry than a partnership.
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“Shane is a good friend of mine, so we swapped some text messages and things started from there.
“It is funny to think we raced go-karts against each other as kids back home, Formula Fords … 15 years later we’re together, which is kind of crazy.
“To think me, Shane, Brendon [Hartley; racing for Toro Rosso F1 in 2018], we were all kids in New Zealand that grew up racing karts together, and now we’re all around the world driving these race cars, and Brendon is in F1 next year.
“So yes, surreal. It’s a golden era for Kiwi motorsport at the moment.”