Earl Bamber will join Shane van Gisbergen as co-driver in Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s No. 97 Commodore for the 2018 endurance races.
Bamber, who was just announced to Porsche’s lineup for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and four-car Le Mans campaign, has won his class twice at the Bathurst 12 Hour in three attempts. He replaces van Gisbergen’s 2017 co-driver Matt Campbell, whose overseas racing commitments with Porsche conflict for a second year.
“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,” the two-time Le Mans winner told Red Bull’s official website. “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.
“Shane is a good friend of mine, so we swapped some text messages and things started from there. [Engineer] Jeromy Moore, who used to be at Triple Eight and is now in our Porsche team, he and I would always talk about Supercars. I was planning on coming down to Australia to be at one of the races to check it all out, but as it happened [Triple Eight’s] Roland Dane was at Fuji in Japan (for the WEC round this year), so we had a chat there. I had a gap in my calendar to come down to the Gold Coast and see things first-hand. At that stage, me racing one of these was just an idea, nothing more. But things obviously moved on from there, and here we are.”
The team is working toward including Campbell in the line-up for Triple Eight’s V6 twin-turbo wild-card entry at the Bathurst 1000.
Paul Dumbrell and Jamie Whincup will partner again in the team’s second car for the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 in the pair’s seventh year together.