Bamber starts Oz F3 campaign
Lady Wigram Trophy winner Earl Bamber starts his 2008 Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship campaign this weekend.
The Wanganui teenager will drive an Opes Prime Team BRM’s new Mercedes-Benz-powered Dallara F307.
The Adelaide team is one of the top squads in the Australian series, and Bamber (17) will drive alongside 22-year-old Western Australian Nathan Caratti.
Bamber, who first came to international attention when he won the 2006 Formula BMW Asia series in his rookie year in cars, is currently one of the front-runners in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series.
He drives in TRS for the International Motorsport-run, TradeZone-backed A1 NZL Junior Development Team.
Because there are no date clashes, the Opes Prime Team BRM drive dovetails nicely with the TRS, Bamber says.
“That was probably the biggest thing. We looked at the dates... and it was as if it was meant to be.”
This weekend the Australian series supports Australia’s A1GP round at Sydney’s Eastern Creek, then in three weeks’ time the series has a slot on the support programme at the big Clipsal 500 meeting in Adelaide.
In between Bamber will return home to contest the fifth round of the TRS at Manfeild.
Bamber is currently third overall in the TRS points standings.
At the New Zealand A1GP meeting at Taupo, he clinched victory in the TRS International series-within-a-series from Ben Harford and Andy Knight.
Bamber says he’s looking forward to seeing what he can do with the new car under racing conditions.
“Obviously, being a 2.0-litre car, (the F3) is a bit quicker than the 1.8-litre Toyota I’m racing in New Zealand, but I think the biggest difference is the amount of adjustability (on the car), and the difference you can make with it.”
Expected to provide Bamber with competition this weekend are last season’s runner-up Leanne Tander (wife of V8 Supercar champion Garth Tander) and Bamber’s teammate Nathan Caratti.