Worst fears were confirmed – the Board of Directors, Porsche has decided to roll the program into LMP1, and the end of 2017, the German company will leave the world championship on races on endurance, focusing on Formula E and GT racing.
In 2014, Porsche returned to the main class of the WEC and a daily marathon “24 hours of Le Mans” after a 16-year break. In the second year after the return of the factory team won the world Cup and in 2016 successfully defended the title. After the first four stages of the current season the team of Andreas Seidl’s also the lead in both tests, and a month ago they brought a Porsche to a record 19-win streak at Le Mans. Even after the departure of the Audi was the fear that, having achieved all possible success, Porsche will follow the example of sister brand, and in recent years such rumors have appeared more often.
Formally, the Porsche contract with the promoters of the championship involved the participation in WEC, at least until the end of 2018. But the top leadership of the group is not stopped, and decided that the next season of sportproof Porsche on the grid will not, while in touring class, the company will continue to participate and 2019 will put a factory team in electric series Formula E.
“The arrival of Formula E and success in this category is a logical result of our program of road vehicles Mission E. the Growing freedom to develop their own technologies makes this series attractive for us, – said Michael Steiner, a member of the Board of Porsche AG, responsible for research and development. – Porsche works with alternative and innovative drive concepts. For us the Formula E is a competitive environment in which we will be able to develop automotive technology in such aspects as environmental friendliness and efficiency.”
Vice President of Porsche LMP1 Fritz Enzinger added: “the creation of the project in the WEC from scratch was a huge challenge for us. Over the years we have developed an incredibly successful and professional team, which will be our future basis. I am sure that we will perform at the highest level in Formula E. looking forward to the debut”.
The only manufacturer in LMP1 in 2018 will remain Toyota. Come several privateers SMP Racing, Ginetta and Perrinn, but this is unlikely to fix something, especially considering that one of the factory WEC team can lose the status of world championship.
A letter of resignation from WEC, Porsche became the second big news in the Motorsport world over the last few days. On Monday, Mercedes shocked the public, saying the withdrawal from the DTM at the end of 2018.
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