David Sears has revealed that he is keen to lure rising young Kiwi star Earl Bamber away from Qi-Meritus Mahara to his Super Nova outfit for the 2009 GP2 Series summer campaign.
Bamber has turned a number of heads both in the GP2 Asia Series – finishing runner-up in only his second outing in the formula in the sprint race in Shanghai back in October, and currently sitting a challenging fifth in the drivers' title chase – and in A1GP, where he has effortlessly picked up the mantle from compatriot Jonny Reid in maintaining New Zealand's presence right towards the front of the field behind the wheel of Black Beauty
Sears has no doubt that the 18-year-old is a star-in-the-making, and equally makes no secret of the fact that he wants to pluck him for Super Nova's GP2 squad too – as well as doing what he can to boost the prospects of the former Formula BMW Asia Series Champion's countrymen.
“There's a real little star called Earl Bamber who drives for us sometimes with New Zealand,” the Englishman told Crash.net Radio
, “and to be honest with you we'd like to try and harness him for GP2 as well.
“When I go down there on Friday we've got a meeting at the motor show with various people to try and do what would effectively be a scholarship system for Kiwi drivers to come over here. If that works, then there are some very, very good drivers there for a little country.”
Indeed, Bamber's home round at Taupo is next up on the World Cup of Motorsport's 2008/09 schedule in just over a week's time, and Sears – whose Super Nova concern similarly runs the challenges of Brazil, Lebanon and India – was enthusiastic about the step forward the nation vs nation series has taken since joining forces with Ferrari for season four.
“It's good,” he stated. “We've got a lot of young drivers there, apart from Narain Karthikeyan who has a lot of experience. The other ones are 17 or 18-year-olds, so they've got a lot to learn.
“The car is very, very nice too – I think it's probably one of the best-built cars outside of Formula 1 at the moment. If you've got a road car-based engine – the 430 Ferrari engine is very good in GTs, and will put out over 600 horsepower – you've still got to compromise a little bit, but as long as the series doesn't get affected by the credit crunch it's fine.”
by Russell Atkins