The younger brother of two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and former World Endurance Champion Earl, Will Bamber made his 24H SERIES debut at this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI, following that up shortly after with another run with the family team at the E-SPORTS 12H MONZA.
That’s far from the only GT racing credits on this young Kiwi’s resume, however. Having decided against single seaters early on in his career, Will, having moved to the region in 2014, is already a multi-time race winner in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the China GT Championship. Prior to that, he competed in the inaugural season of V8 Supertourers, going toe-to-toe with two-time Australia Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin in the process, and also knows his way around a Suzuka Swift, boasting a Suzuki Swift Sport Cup Championship to his name. As a pillar of Earl Bamber Motorsport too, Will hopes it won’t be too long before the pair compete at a “major endurance event” together.
Just, don’t ask him to watch The Exorcist…
“26. I’m getting old!”
“It was a [Mazda] RX7 Series 1 in Taupo, New Zealand, and I was just glad I didn’t stall it! But that was great grass roots racing, and I even had to help build the car.”
“I have to say my World Endurance Championship debut in the Porsche 911 RSR last year during my final Porsche Carrera Cup Asia weekend in Shanghai. I was doing a track walk for the Carrera Cup that Thursday night and was called to the Dempsey-Proton Racing garage when I got back. From there it was madness! Pole position and a win in the Carrera Cup, jumping from one car to the other, and a top six finish in the WEC after almost going a lap down after an incident for my team mate.* I couldn’t stop smiling!”
*That weekend, Will partnered with Italy’s Angelo Negro and Austria’s Thomas Preining, the trio going on to finish 6th in the LMGTE Am category, two places higher than they started.
“The Bangsaen Street Circuit in Thailand. It is like a miniature Macau GP, and, of course, if you are successful you usually like the place!”
“Probably falling asleep at the [Hankook] 24H DUBAI this year after my stint, then waking up to an empty paddock and floating cars.* I had no data and there were no other team members around. I had no idea what was going on!”
*Regrettably, heavier-than-anticipated rain and noticeable flooding around the Dubai Autodrome meant this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI was red-flagged during the night. Safety concerns thereafter meant the race could not be restarted. Will was eventually classified 6th in the GT3-AM class along with Earl Bamber Motorsport teammates Eric Lux, Gerard Lopez, Tim Müller and Jürgen Häring. The latter pair went on to take overall victory at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO.
“I’ve always liked bright and positive colours, so I integrated a Bull (from my family crest) and the traditional New Zealand Maori pattern together. I also studied design at University, so I spent a lot of time coming up with the overall look.”
“Leonardo Di Caprio. Guaranteed Oscar nomination!”
“To race and win a major endurance race with my brother.”
“I hate – by which I mean, terrified of – horror movies."
“You get to experience great circuits and a quality field of diverse cars. Dubai was my first 24H SERIES race, and even with the rain, it was an incredible event to be a part of. I certainly won’t forget that one, for sure.”
*Will Bamber very kindly spoke to CREVENTIC remotely during lockdown. Images courtesy of Will Bamber Motorsport.