Porsche set to leave WEC, LMP1

Porsche set to leave WEC, LMP1

Even Porsche LMP1 factory driver Andre Lotterer told DH.be he's expecting the worst for the program.

It's official: Porsche will enter the FIA Formula E championship with a factory-backed team in season six, starting in the winter of 2019. "Even with exclusively battery-powered sports cars, Porsche is remaining true to its philosophy and offering our customers the sportiest and technologically most sophisticated model in this market segment", said chairman of the executive board Oliver Blume of the Mission E concept, a direction Porsche appears to take on with its motorsport endeavours.

Porsche's storied run in the World Endurance Championship may be sprinting toward its ultimate demise.

Porsche's exit leaves WEC's LMP1 class with Toyota as the sole manufacturer entry for 2018 alongside a number of privateer cars expected to join the grid. "But Porsche is definitely not leaving Le Mans".

On Monday, Mercedes announced that it would be entering the Formula E in 2019.

This realignment of motorsport activities for Porsche stems from the direction set out for the company in Porsche Strategy 2025, which will see Porsche develop a combination of pure GT vehicles and fully electric sports cars, such as the first fully electric Porsche model, based upon the Mission E concept auto.

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Reports surfaced on Thursday morning across several media outlets - including both British and German media - that Porsche will leave the World Endurance Championship after only a four-year stint in the championship, which has yielded two driver's titles, two constructors' titles and three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Over the years, we have developed an incredibly successful and professional team.

"Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. The electric revolution continues, and Formula E remains the championship for that revolution".

Domestic (and familial) rival Audi came to a similar conclusion at the end of past year, making the same switch from LMP1 to Formula E. The potential announcement would come one day after Porsche's board met to vote on whether it would abandon the LMP1 category.

Motorsports are rapidly shifting after Mercedes-Benz said they would pull out of DTM earlier this week in favor of Formula E, and BMW and Audi are reportedly considering pulling out of the German touring auto series as well.

Porsche secured its 19th outright Le Mans victory in June in a race of heavy attrition, marking the 919 Hybrid's third La Sarthe success in a row.

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