Double Le Mans 24 Hours Champion, Double Carrera Cup Asia Champion and 2014 Porsche Supercup Champion Earl Bamber was taking a close look at the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup over the final race weekend of the Series and had plenty of encouragement for the prospects for a stronger grid for the GT Cup class in 2018.
Bamber, whose brother Will is a regular part of the Team NZ effort, sees real potential for a locally based multi-car effort for next season:
“The format for this Championship is ideal,” he said. “ With so much endurance racing now available, one area there is a shortfall is the opportunity for new drivers looking to get into this sort of racing to have a relatively low pressure place to learn how multi-class racing operates, not just the racing, but the way that strategy, and the rules, play out across a weekend. Lots of track time and longer racing stints give a good opportunity for drivers to practice, and to test themselves and improve.
“This is a great introduction to that, and the GT Cup class is the perfect way to start, in particular with an all-gentleman driver squad (Bronze/ Bronze).”
With the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia about to transition to the new model of Porsche 9911 GT3 Cup for 2018 there will be a large number of previous model Porsches on the market and Bamber is confident that the category is set to see a boost:
“There is real potential for a sensible number of those cars being available,” said Bamber, “and for current, and emerging teams to use that opportunity to cultivate an entirely new customer base. It’s a real opportunity to make the step as a team onto the international stage.”