Double Bathurst 1000 duty for Bamber
Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber will be on double duty at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 after landing a drive in the Dunlop Super2 Series round at Mount Panorama.
The New Zealand sportscar ace will team up with Super2 rookie Brenton Grove in the Grove Racing VF Commodore for the second tier 250km showpiece at the famous 6.2km circuit over the October 4-7 weekend.
The race will act as a points paying round this year having been a non championship race last season.
Bamber’s outing arrives on top of his first attempt at Supercars’ prestigious Bathurst 1000, where he will co-drive alongside Shane van Gisbergen in the #97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore.
The opportunity will offer the 27-year-old increased Supercar mileage at the circuit which has seen the factory Porsche driver win two Bathurst 12 Hour Class B titles with Grove Racing in 2014 and 2016.
Bamber has already driven the Grove Racing Holden having completed a brief outing at Winton in February.
“It’s going to be a mega challenge for both of us, the first time going to The Mountain in a Supercar for both Brenton and I – so that will be awesome,” said Bamber.
“I’ve known Brenton for a long time now and help him a bit behind the scenes so it will be awesome to share the car with him.
“Brenton has got a steep learning curve as well so hopefully I can pass on a little bit of knowledge from what I’m learning in the main series, but also all around the world.
“It has always been amazing to work with Grove Racing, for me, the journey started with them all the way back in 2013 when I was doing Carrera Cup as a completely unknown kid.
“Stephen (Grove) was the one guy who gave me an opportunity and chance way back then, so it’s amazing to be able to drive with them still five years later.”
Bamber believes the extra running at Mount Panorama will prove beneficial for his own Bathurst 1000 bid.
“Sharing the car with Brenton is a massive help towards my Bathurst 1000 main game preparations, obviously it’s just more track time and chance to gain more track knowledge,” he added.
“He’s in a Triple Eight car, one from last year, so the aerodynamic package is different, but certainly most things are still the same – it’s definitely a help.
“Overall, I’m just really looking forward to the Bathurst weekend and working with the Grove Racing guys and girls; hopefully we can grab some good results.”
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Grove is looking forward to learning from his more experienced team-mate.
“It will be cool to share the car with Earl for the weekend,” said Grove.
“He will have a busy weekend so I will still do most of the driving but his help behind the scenes and on the little things like pit stops will be invaluable.
“We have worked together before and we are always chatting about racing so it will be a lot easier having him in the same country and in the same car on the same weekend to help my learning curve.
“Bathurst and Sandown are the only tracks I had already been to on the calendar so that fact that we can get stuck into it straight away without having to learn the track should really help me.
“I think personally I haven’t done as well as I would have liked to this year, so I’m looking forward to tapping into his knowledge and hopefully we can have a good showing.”
The Super2 250km is scheduled to take place on October 6.