Porsche Confirms Switch From Le Mans To Formula E

The rumors, it turns out, have not been exaggerated: Porsche is shutting down its LMP1 racing program, and charging head-first into Formula E instead.

If the move sounds familiar, it should. Less than a year ago, Porsche’s sister company Audi called it quits as well on its victorious LMP1 effort while gradually ramping up its involvement with Abt’s Formula E team to the point that it’s now a full factory effort.

Earlier this month, BMW also announced its entry into the electric racing series, and Mercedes followed suit just days ago – ending its long involvement in Germany’s popular DTM touring car series, where it has until now competed against BMW and Audi. Rival luxury automaker Jaguar also has a team in Formula E, as do Renault and PSA’s premium DS brand.

“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E project. The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us,” said Porsche’s R&D chief Michael Steiner. “Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high-performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency, and sustainability.”

Porsche confirmed its intention to continue running the 911 RSR in the GT classes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the associated FIA World Endurance Championship, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America. But with no prototype program, it won’t be competing for overall victory any longer.

Thus ends a highly successful four-year program that resulted in three consecutive Le Mans wins (further cementing Porsche’s standing as the most successful in the race’s long history) as well as two world championships (in both the drivers’ and teams’ classifications). That leaves Toyota for the time being as the only front-running hybrid prototype team, but with no one to race against, the Japanese manufacturer may be forced to withdraw as well.

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  • diego

    RIP LMP1

    • Six Thousand Times

      Essentially. The formula didn’t make sense, anymore.

  • BobV12

    o/

  • jarooo4

    I don’t think that Toyota will leave Le Mans right now. They have now they great opportunity to win the race at last.

    • Jan Mleziva

      or, from different point of view, they have no other chance than to be dead last in LMP1 class. Either they finish before any LMP2 does (unlike this year), win the race and will be dead last in class. Or they achieve the same thing as this year and be dead last in class. Or none of the car finishes and they still will be dead last. I cannot imagine LMP1 class with only one team.

  • Six Thousand Times

    OK but Formula E?

    • TheHake

      Lawnmower racing…

      • Six Thousand Times

        Not as exciting as that. Maybe someday but not today.

    • Kevin Tay

      then explain why Audi ditches DTM for Formula E, and this?

      • Six Thousand Times

        I’m guessing it’s because both companies want to look good in green. Since there’s a lot of hype surrounding Formula E as the racing of tomorrow, it’s a good marketing move even if the cars and the racing aren’t very exciting.

  • TheHake

    This sucks a$$!

  • Denzel

    The class is just so expensive and the majority of the competition is an LMP2, GTE and GTPro. They hay days of LMP1 are long gone.

  • exeptor

    So now Formula E is the thing. I guess it make sense no matter how much we love ICBs.

  • nastinupe

    Told ya’ll. Damn… where did my comment about Formula E go from the last post?

  • Nate

    Like other German carmakers who recently made similar announcements, it seems to be little more then virtue signalling due to the dark clouds hanging over such carmakers regarding the ongoing emissions scandal.

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