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Kelly Grove Racing is pleased confirm André Heimgartner will partner with fellow Kiwi, Earl Bamber, for this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000. The pair will drive the #7 NED Whisky Racing Ford Mustang in Australia’s greatest race, marking Bamber’s second attempt at conquering The Mountain.
Bamber has become one of the most successful drivers in endurance racing in recent years. He is a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the top-tier LMP1 class, and a two-time class winner of the Bathurst 12 hour with Kelly Grove Racing co-owner Stephen Grove.
In 2017 Bamber won the World Endurance Championship in the LMP1 class before Porsche ended its involvement in LMP1 at the end of the ’17 season. From there Bamber continued with Porsche as a full-time factory driver for Porsche Motorsport in the IMSA Sports Car Championship GTLM class where he currently competes and has won the Championship in 2019.
The 30-year old Kiwi is without a doubt one of the highest credentialed drivers from the region and he will bring significant racing knowledge and experience to the table for André’s eighth running of the Bathurst 1000.
Bamber is no stranger to the world of Supercars, having competed in the Pirtek Enduro Cup during the 2018 season alongside fellow Kiwi, Shane Van Gisbergen. The pair kicked off the endurance series with a second place podium at the Sandown 500 and at the Bathurst 1000 Earl put in a solid performance and the pair finished the great race in fifth place at the chequered flag.
The team is now looking forward to getting Earl Bamber into the #7 NED Whisky Racing Ford Mustang to cut some practice laps in the coming months ahead of his racing debut with the team in October.
André Heimgartner, Driver, #7 NED Whisky Racing
“It’s really awesome to have Earl join the team for this year’s Bathurst 1000 and to have another Kiwi in the team. Earl is someone that I’ve obviously paid close attention to over the years being from New Zealand and he’s had a huge amount of success in racing internationally.”
“Things like winning the 24 hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship are two of the biggest accolades you can have shy of winning a F1 World Championship so his resume is certainly very impressive.”
“Earl has raced in Supercars before, but it has been a few years and with a different car so there might be some acclimatisation required for him to get comfortable, but I have no doubt he’ll be very competitive and give NED Whisky Racing the best chance of success.”
Earl Bamber, Co-Driver, #7 NED Whisky Racing
“I’m thrilled to be joining the guys at Kelly Grove Racing for this year’s Bathurst 1000. For me success at Mount Panorama in the 1000 is one of the items on my racing bucket list and to do it with André who’s a fellow Kiwi would be fantastic.”
“When I raced at the Bathurst 1000 in 2018 the atmosphere was incredible, the race means so much to the fans and the teams and it’s the one race that every single driver wants to win. It’s one of the coolest and most competitive endurance events that I’ve raced in.”
“I’m really looking forward to working with André, he’s a young guy who is starting to cement his place as a competitive force in the Championship with really solid and consistent results. The team are all really pushing hard with the car development at the moment too and the results of that are starting to show so it’s definitely an exciting time for Kelly Grove Racing and I’m looking forward to being part of that.”
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