Porsche is dumping its LMP1 racing program in favor of the all-electric Formula E racing series.
Porsche has announced that it is pulling the plug on its involvement in the LMP1 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship and will instead focus its racing efforts on Formula E.
Porsche will end its involvement with the LMP1 class of the WEC at the end of the 2017 season. Although the LMP1 program is disbanding, Porsche says it will keep its LMP1 racing team intact. Porsche says it will keep team members busy with other racing ventures, including preparations for the company's Formula E debut.
Porsche says it decided to make the jump to Formula E as the all-electric racing series better aligns with the company's Porsche Strategy 2025, which calls for battery-powered sports cars like the Mission E.
"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," said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. "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 will enter Formula E in 2019. The company says it has already begun development of its Formula E race car.
Although Porsche is pulling out of the WEC's LMP1 class, the automaker will remain active in the GT class with its 911 RSR. "A diversity of manufacturers and the quality of both WEC and IMSA have led us to strengthen our commitment and concentrate our energies on using the 911 RSR," said Steiner. "We want to be number one. To do that, we must invest accordingly."