Fantastic year for Kiwi motorsport
Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber together with Porsche team-mate Timo Bernhard secured the 2017 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ and Manufactuers’ Championship (WEC) at the penultimate round in Shanghai over the weekend. It has been a fantastic year for Hartley and Bamber, from Palmerston North and Wanganui respectively, especially with Hartley’s successful Formula 1 debut and confirmation that he will be racing for the F1 team for the remaining three events in 2017. It is Hartley’s second WEC drivers’ title, the first being with Bernhard and Australian Mark Webber back in 2015, and Bamber’s first. “We’re absolutely delighted for Brendon and Earl,” says Wayne Christie, President of MotorSport New Zealand. “They have done New Zealand proud and are proving an incredible inspiration for younger Kiwi motorsport competitors, particularly those participating in the Elite Motorsport Academy as both Brendon and Earl are graduates of our highly-regarded academy programme.” “We know Brendon and Earl will be lauded in an array of regional and national motorsport awards in the coming months, and they also deserve to be recognised in wider sporting awards for their incredible, history-making achievements.” Said Christie. They’ve both got busy schedules ahead of them. From Shanghai, Hartley has jetted off to join Toro Rosso for the Brazilian Grand Prix next Monday, before re-joining Bamber and Bernhard for the final WEC event of the season. Meanwhile, Porsche has confirmed that Bamber will return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTLM class for the 2018 season, the series he contested for Porsche in 2015 and 2016.