Le Mans’ Bam­ber gets warm welcome

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

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

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