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Bamber looks forward to fresh start

 

Earl Bamber is looking forward to a fresh start to the season at the third round of the 2006/2007 Toyota Racing Series in Christchurch this weekend as he joins forces with a team mate for the first time in the championship.

Earl Bamber is looking forward to a fresh start to the season at the third round of the 2006/2007 Toyota Racing Series in Christchurch this weekend as he joins forces with a team mate for the first time in the championship.

Bamber, of Wanganui, will race alongside British driver Ben Clucas in the ESWA Team for the first time at Powerbuilt Raceway, Ruapuna. As he travels south to prepare for this weekend's event Bamber holds 8th position in the point standings after the opening rounds of New Zealand's premier single seater racing championship.

The 16 - year - old, who last year won the Formula BMW Asia Championship, has been plagued by electrical and fuel pump problems in his TradeZone Tatuus throughout the previous rounds at both Pukekohe, and Ruapuna where the series pays it's second visit this weekend. The problem has proved difficult to trace and has severely restricted the young drivers campaign as he makes his first foray into the Toyota Racing Series. However by joining forces with the ESWA Team and Clucas he now has the opportunity of working together with a team mate which should assist the teenager to work through car set - up issues more quickly.

"I'm looking forward to working with Ben and everyone else in the ESWA Team," said Earl today. "It's great to have a team mate and I'm looking forward to sharing data with Ben. This will be a fresh start to the 2007 season." Clucas is a strong runner in the championship and currently sits 4th in the points table. The Englishman had his first drive in the series late last season when he won the New Zealand Motor Cup at Pukekohe. He then crossed the Tasman and won the 2006 Australian Formula 3 Championship.

Bamber has also taken the opportunity since the last round of the championship at Ruapuna to test a Formula Renault at the 3.3 kilometre circuit. Testing in the Toyota Racing Series cars is strictly limited but the Formula Renault offers a very similar package and many drivers have taken the opportunity to gain mileage at the wheel of the closely matched car. Working with experienced engineer Craig Russell and kiwi international Chris Van Der Drift, who was a top European runner in Formula Renault last year, Bamber recorded a very competitive lap time of 1 minute 21.1 seconds. The session was both pleasing and confidence building for Bamber who found Van Der Drift a huge help with advice. "It was great to get some more running in the same type of car and get a feel for the car and the way it should be," say's Earl.

This weekend's programme at the Christchurch circuit will feature the Lady Wigram Trophy Race, for one of New Zealand's most prestigious motor racing trophies. Many of the world's most famous drivers of the past have their names engraved on the trophy. However a key difference for Toyota Racing Series competitors this weekend will be the addition of an extra race to their schedule. Rather than the customary three races they face every round there will be a fourth race on the programme. This is to replace the race that had to be abandoned when the series last visited the Canterbury track in November. On that occasion heavy rain made it unsafe to proceed with the third and final race of the programme and the decision was made to postpone the race to this weekend.

Bamber's Toyota Racing Series campaign is supported by the TradeZone Industrial Group and their supplier partners CRC, Koken, Hitachi Power Tools, Bahco, Fuller Hand Tools plus ESWA, Wanganui Toyota and South Taranaki Toyota.



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