Earl Bamber looks to add big ticket event to 2018 calendar
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Two-time Le Mans 24 Hour champ and recently crowned World Endurance Championship winner Earl Bamber will remain contracted to Porsche next year but will look to add some big ticket events to his 2018 calendar.
Bamber, like Porsche factory teammate and Formula 1 star Brendon Hartley, found himself in limbo when the German manufacturer announced they were exiting their LMP1 program in the World Endurance Championship at the end of the year.
But the 27-year-old has since confirmed some of his plans for next year and is working on adding a few one-off events as well.
"It is really sad that [Porsche] are stopping the program because it is a great team," Bamber told Radio Sport. "It has been a great program. Outside of Formula 1 I think it is the next best thing with the big teams, the big resources and the open rules.
"I will stay with Porsche going back to the GT program - I can't say where yet but it looks like a pretty entertaining year shaping up."
Earl Bamber testing the GTE-Pro 911 RSR earlier this year. Photo / Porsche
Bamber is almost certain to enter Porsche's IMSA's program in the United States, where he has competed over previously.
CORE Autosport Head of Motorsport, Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, was quoted in The Drive claiming Bamber and fellow factory Porsche driver Nick Tandy will race for his team next year.
But Bamber is also keen to try his hand at some one-off events as well as the Pirtek Endurance Cup in Supercars.
"I would also like to try and do the big races - the Bathurst 12 Hour, Spa 24 Hours, Nurburgring and still Le Mans as well," he said.
"I would try to do Bathurst 1000 - that would be something to tick off."
Unlike fellow Kiwi Richie Stanaway, who is trying to move to the category fulltime after a stint in Europe, Bamber is only interested in a Pirtek Endurance Cup drive where he competes as a co-driver at the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast events.
"It is more for me going down there as a co-driver and trying to do the three races and trying to get the win," he explained. "Not too much to be the main game driver.
"I still have many things to do with Porsche, many goals. We have exciting things going on with Formula E coming. I still have a lot of goals and boxes to tick off."
Bamber will finish his LMP1 commitments with Porsche next week in Bahrain and is looking forward to spending some time in New Zealand over summer.
His great mate Hartley is returning home to get married early in the New Year and Bamber will be in attendance.
"He has got something important going on so I will definitely be back over summer. I think there are quite a few race car drivers coming down."