Earl Bamber has been confirmed to race one of two ROWE Racing Porsche 911 GT3-Rs in this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The New Zealander is set to join IMSA co-driver Laurens Vanthoor and Porsche factory racer Nick Tandy on an impressive 52-strong grid.
The number is significantly down on 2019’s record 72 entries with the Covid-19 pandemic pushing the race back until October 22-25 and leading to the race held behind closed doors.
Both Bamber and Vanthoor teamed for the race last year at the helm of the KÜS 75 Team Bernhard 911. Together with German GT ace Timo Bernhard, they finished ninth overall after one of the closest finishes of the famed endurance event of recent history.
Bamber, Vanthoor and Bernhard have partnered together at the Spa 24 before, doing so in 2018. En route for a podium result, their race was stifled when they crashed into a lapped car.
ROWE Racing finished runners-up in last year’s rendition and this year will have the experienced trio of Julien Andlauer, Dirk Werner and Klaus Bachler at the wheel of the sister 911 to help go one better.
The news of Bamber’s drive comes after an announcement in July that his own Earl Bamber Motorsport outfit had withdrawn from the race. The team were slated to field a two-car effort but cited global border closures as their primary motive for their exit.
Bamber is so far the only Kiwi driver on the grid. Australian racer Matt Campbell, who won the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour under the EBM banner, is set to drive the leading GPX Porsche which last year claimed overall honours.
The race was previously scheduled to run for 25 hours as the date clashed with the end of Central European Summer Time, pushing the clocks back by an hour. However, a revised programme sees the race now start at 3.30 pm local time on Saturday and finish at 2.30 pm on Sunday.
Before beginning his preparations with ROWE Racing, Bamber will first see out two more IMSA WeatherTech championship races with the factory Le Mans Porsche squad.
The defending champion has suffered a tumultuous year and is winless with four rounds remaining.
The first will be this weekend at the Charlotte Roval, a new circuit on the series calendar and will host only GTLM and GT Daytona cars.