New Zealanders Chris Pither and Earl Bamber will be co-drivers in the 2018 Supercars Pirtek Enduro Cup after signing on with Garry Rogers Motorsport and Red Bull Holden Racing respectively.
Pither, a former full-time Supercars driver for the now-defunct Super Black Racing team, will return to GRM after previously serving as David Wall’s co-driver in the endurance rounds in 2015.
The 2017 season saw Pither partner Dale Wood at Erebus Motorsport, with the pair finishing eleventh overall in the Cup standings with an impressive fourth-placed finish at the Bathurst 1000 as their highlight (pictured below).
Having not revealed the identity of its other co-driver, GRM is yet to confirm whether Pither will partner series veteran Garth Tander or his new teammate James Golding, who makes his full-time debut in the championship in 2018.
Meanwhile, FIA World Endurance Champion Earl Bamber will team up with his countryman and former Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen next year in an all-Kiwi line-up.
Bamber will have his Supercars outings at the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 events, which do not conflict with any potential race commitments in 2018.
The 27-year-old has an impressive CV. A two-time runner-up in the Toyota Racing Series in his homeland, Bamber switched to racing Porsche Carreras and won back-to-back Asia titles in dominant style in 2013-14 before claiming the Porsche Supercup crown in 2014. He moved into the World Endurance Championship, winning the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours with Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy and repeating the feat this year with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley en route to claiming the LMP1 championship crown.
With Porsche ending its LMP1 programme, Bamber will remain with the German marque in the American-based IMSA Sportscar Championship while starts in the Nürburgring 24 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours are also planned.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team has also confirmed Paul Dumbrell will once again partner seven-time Supercars Championship winner Jamie Whincup in this year’s Enduro Cup.
It is expected that its third car driven by Craig Lowndes, which will this year run under Autobarn colours, will have Steven Richards continuing in his co-driver duties with the series veteran.
Images via Chris Pither, Keith McInnes Photography and Porsche AG
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