After a lot of speculation from media, Porsche has confirmed it will leave the LMP1 class in the World Endurance Championship to pursue a Formula E campaign.
From 2019, Porsche will have a works team competing in Formula E, while its LMP1 efforts will cease at the end of the 2017 season.
This move plays into Porsche’s ‘Strategy 2025’ which will see the manufacturer developing “a combination of pure GT vehicles and fully electric sports cars”.
Research and development executive board member Michael Steiner says Formula E is attractive to manufacturers because it encourages them to develop motoring tech for the future.
“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E. The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us,” Steiner says.
“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.”
With three victories in a row at the 24 Hours of Le Mans under its belt, Porsche’s decision to leave LMP1 is a staggering loss for the sport.
This also leaves Toyota as the only works team in LMP1, which means it will have the best chance yet at victory.
Porsche LMP1 vice president and key Porsche motorsport figure Fritz Enzinger (pictured) says the challenge of Le Mans has helped develop a basis for Porsche’s motorsport future.
“Building up the Le Mans team from scratch was a huge challenge. Over the years, we have developed an incredibly successful and professional team. This will be our basis going forward.
“I am certain that we will maintain our high level in Formula E. Confidence is high, and we are excited to get started.”