Le Mans’ Bamber gets warm welcome
JOHANNESBURG — Talented young Porsche works driver and Le Mans team winner, Earl Bamber paid a visit to Porsche Centre Johannesburg during a private trip to South Africa.
Bamber wrote history as the youngest graduate of the Porsche youth development programme: The New Zealander gained his first one-make cup experience in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. In 2014, he won the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as a Porsche Junior, and in 2015 he clinched victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a Porsche works driver at the wheel of the Number 19, 919 Hybrid LMP1 vehicle, alongside teammates Nick Tandy and Nico Hülkenberg.
Bamber revelled in the cheering and flag waving of an ecstatic team at Porsche Centre Johannesburg, as he entered the showroom.
The 24-year old posed patiently for photographs with staff and customers, before taking a walk through the facility and enjoying lunch with Chief Executive Officer Toby Venter and other team members of the Porsche Centre Group LSM Distributors (Pty). Ltd.
Winning the world’s most famous endurance race in the Porsche 919 Hybrid marks the pinnacle of his meteoric career from Porsche Junior works driver to celebrated Le Mans winner — all in just over a year.
Bamber’s motorsport roots began with karting in 2004, but it was due to Porsche’s support that his career got a significant boost. Le Mans was only the second race in the premier class of endurance sport.
Looking back at his sensational victory on the circuit des 24 Heures, Bamber said: “It was overwhelming to hold the trophy in my hands and to be cheered by so many people.
“When you dream of winning Le Mans that would normally be time to wake up. But this dream continues in real life.”
Porsche’s youth development programme was launched in 1997 when the first UPS Porsche Junior team lined up on the grid.
Since then, 19 of the young race drivers who have received support in the junior programme have managed to climb the ladder to become professional race drivers Talented young drivers have until August 1st to put themselves forward to become a Porsche Junior for the 2016 motorsport season. • More details on the Porsche youth development programme on on www.porsche.com/ juniorprogramme