AS THE passenger in the confines of the shiny, colourful Porsche GT4 Clubsport MR, I am at the mercy of Earl Bamber’s reflexes and instincts.
I climb in, contorting myself to fit into the track car (risking serious damage I’m thinking) with the luminous trim, taking comfort in the knowledge that the 27-year-old Kiwi has been behind the wheel of cars since he was seven, and has been a competitive driver for more than half his years on the planet.
He’s fresh from his second 24-hour Le Mans win as a Porsche works driver, grabbing the hat trick of wins that sees Porsche keep the massive trophy.
Bamber’s personal trophy is on show at Sepang, where he is training those who want a taste of the hard life on the track.
Porsche’s Media Driving Academy takes place in the classroom and on the track. It offers a better understanding of the physics behind driving and how Porsche’s range of production cars is equipped to handle heavy workloads while offering safety in testing conditions.
While the glamour of racing is alluring, the repetitive nature of acceleration, braking, overtaking and doing it over and and over again can be strenuous on your patience and your system.
Bamber, who is charming and affable in person, is focused and cool behind the wheel. As he whips the car through the turns of Sepang, you grip the roll cage and enjoy the scenery whizzing by at warp speed, the raspy roar of the engine and Bamber’s deft handling of the GT4 Clubsport MR.
In a quieter environment, Bamber chats with me about the business of racing, the challenges and autonomous cars.