EARL BAMBER RULED OUT OF BATHURST 1000

Earl Bamber. Pic: Supplied.

KELLY Grove Racing’s international recruit Earl Bamber won’t be on the grid for the Repco Bathurst 1000 in December.

The Kiwi was signed earlier this year to co-drive with Andre Heimgartner in the team’s NED Whisky Mustang at the Great Race when it was originally scheduled for October.

But he will be a no-show for the rescheduled December 5 race due to commitments in the United States.

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A two-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner, Bamber has this year been racing in the IMSA Sportscar Championship in the United States and GT World Challenge Europe.

“It’s extremely disappointing because I know how good Earl is having raced with him before and having seen him race first-hand,” said team owner Stephen Grove in a statement.

“However, there’s been a clash with the change of date for the Bathurst 1000 with his commitments in the United States.

“We’ve got a really exciting announcement who Andre’s co-driver will be, which we’ll confirm in the coming days.

“There’s no question that we’ll work with Earl to get him back next year hopefully and beyond, He’s an extremely good talent.

“We’ll definitely be bringing him back if all the dates align for 2022, no question.”

Bamber’s single Bathurst start to date came in 2018 alongside Shane van Gisbergen at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, which yielded a fifth-place finish.

Bamber is the second international scratching from the Bathurst 1000 in recent weeks following confirmation that US-based Scott McLaughlin won’t return, instead replaced by Alex Davison at Dick Johnson Racing.