Earl Bamber has been confirmed to race in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour in a Proton-run WeatherTech GTE Pro Porsche.
The Kiwi and two-time winner of the famed race will drive a Porsche 911 RSR alongside Laurens Vanthoor and Cooper MacNeil in August’s race.
Bamber missed the 2020 event after being released as a Porsche factory driver.
He has since transitioned into a new customer support role with the German manufacturer and launched his Hardpoint EBM Motorsport team this year, which competes in the IMSA series.
“I am really excited to head back to Le Mans this year,” Bamber said.
“After missing the event in 2020, I can’t wait to get back to one of my favourite tracks in the world.
“I am also looking forward to joining Cooper and Laurens for the event.”
Bamber and Vanthoor share unique teammate chemistry.
The two have raced with each other as co-drivers in the IMSA WeatherTech series in America, winning the GTLM title in 2019.
Last year, the two shared a car with Nick Tandy en route to winning the Spa 24 Hour.
“Le Mans is always the highlight of the year as it is the biggest race we have on the calendar,” Vanthoor said.
“I have a lot of experience driving with Earl over the years.
“I haven’t teamed up with Cooper yet, but I’ve seen him race and have heard a lot of good things about him.”
MacNeil won the GTLM class in this year’s Sebring 12 Hour.
He says himself, Bamber and Vanthoor will form a formidable and mature line-up.
“Between the three of us, we have 17 starts at Le Mans,” he said. “That is a lot of miles and experience around that place.
“We have, what I would call, a mature Le Mans line-up.”
Bamber’s inclusion on the Le Mans entry list means four Kiwis are set to race in this year’s event.
Brendon Hartley will drive with Toyota in the top-tier Hypercar class.
Meanwhile, Nick Cassidy and Jaxon Evans will make their Le Mans debuts in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will run over August 21-22.