Kiwi sportscar team owners Earl and Will Bamber will be using their new Hardpoint EBM IMSA team as an incentive for budding race drivers to land a seat in the Daytona 24 Hours.
2019 IMSA GT Le Mans champion Earl Bamber was left without a drive for next season after Porsche announced their withdrawal from the series.
Fortunately, Earl’s younger brother Will joined the Hardpoint GT Daytona team in a managerial role midway through the 2020 season. Thus, Earl’s free services was quickly swept up and the Kiwi will be on the grid next year for his eighth IMSA gig.
It means the two brothers will reunite and together they will field a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GTD class with Earl and American racer Rob Ferriol behind the wheel.
The newly renamed Team Hardpoint EBM entry is also planning to give back to the racing community by providing multi-car customer program filled with incentives for the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series.
Any Team Hardpoint EBM Carrera Cup driver who finishes in the top three in points in the Pro or Pro-Am category will earn a test day in the WeatherTech Championship GTD Porsche.
Should a Team Hardpoint EBM driver win the 2021 Pro championship in Carrera Cup, they will receive a fully paid ride alongside Bamber and Ferriol in the 2022 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Will says the programme should provide the last step of assistance for any up-and-coming driver who has the talent but not necessarily the financial support to secure a drive on the IMSA grid.
“There’s nothing better than throwing it all out there and backing your own product. Porsche has done that and we’re right behind them,” said Will Bamber,
“We believe that we should be reinvesting back into the sport, to give drivers an opportunity forward beyond the trophy at the end of the year.
“When Earl and I were coming up, as young guys, we both got opportunities. We had to push for it, but it was done by reward and merit, and you just need that chance sometimes.
“Through the team car in GTD, we can do that. It’s something we’ve been trying to do globally, and it should be an exciting program for all young drivers who are trying to make it as a professional.”
Both Will and Earl have also provided support for young Kiwi GT drivers. 24-year-old Reid Harker was set to contest the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship before the global pandemic quashed his plans.
NZ Toyota 86 regular Connor Adam has also been the taken under the wing of Will Bamber as the youngster looks to kick start his sportscar career.