Star internationals Earl Bamber and Alex Premat have taken to the wheel of their respective PIRTEK Enduro Cup mounts ahead of next weekend’s RABBLE.club Sandown 500.
Bamber, a New Zealander currently based in Malaysia, is sharing the #97 Red Bull Holden with Shane van Gisbergen, while US-based Frenchman Premat rejoins Scott McLaughlin.
The 28-year-old Bamber is a Porsche factory driver, with two Le Mans 24 Hours wins already on his CV, but no Supercars racing experience.
Today’s test marked his first dry laps in the ZB Commodore – after a run in wet practice at Winton – as he prepares to carry the championship hopes of good friend van Gisbergen through the year’s biggest races.
“Since being able to confirm it, it’s been my highlight of the year, coming to do these enduros,” Bamber told Supercars.com.
“The preparation has been going pretty good so far. This is my first running in the dry and we’re running through the motions of pitstops and all that sort of stuff.
“The car is awesome, there’s so much power under the foot, and it's just getting into the rhythm, learning the tyres and understanding how to drive the cars.
“Shane has been awesome, teaching me all the tricks. Every time you go and drive it it’s just learning, learning, learning.
"We’ll keep chipping away trying to get closer and closer to the main guys.”
Premat, meanwhile, has extensive Supercars experience thanks to two full seasons with Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2012 and ’13, before settling into the co-driver role.
He won the Enduro Cup with van Gisbergen in 2016, before defecting to DJR Team Penske last year to reunite with former GRM partner McLaughlin.
McLaughlin and Premat won the Sunday race at the Gold Coast 600 last year, but faced heartbreak at Bathurst as an engine failure ended their day.