It's not often that a wide-eyed rookie starting 30th in a second-tier NASCAR Xfinity race will draw so much as a passing comment beyond hardened followers of the series looking to uncover future Cup Series stars. It's certainly uncommon for such a description to fit a Porsche factory driver and two-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner.
But on the Daytona road course this Saturday, 2017 World Endurance Champion Earl Bamber will trade the 911 RSR he normally races in the IMSA Sportscar Championship's GTLM class for the #21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro and become the latest in a long line of drivers to be assigned the label of a NASCAR 'road-course ringer'.
The Kiwi, a winner at Le Mans in 2015 and '17 in the fearsome 919 HYBRID, is a self-confessed NASCAR fan who admits he has a season-pass to stream every race live. His NASCAR debut has been a long time in the works, having tested on a short oval with Childress as long ago as 2007, when he was racing in Formula Renault and still a long way from being the established professional he is today.