Porsche will abandon Le Mans and enter Formula E in 2019

Porsche will end its involvement in the World Endurance Championship at the end of this season and gear-up to enter Formula E

After three Le Mans wins in a row, as well as two driver and constructor titles in the World Endurance Championship, Porsche has annouced it will pull out of the WEC LMP1 class at the end of this season. This is to help facilitate its move to Formula E as Porsche will join AudiMercedesJaguarBMW and many others in the all-electric single-seater championship in 2019.

Porsche has declared that the electric Formula E championship is more closely aligned with its future. It intends to develop a rage of fully electric sports cars next to its more traditional, ‘pure’ GT cars, while also bringing the battery-powered Mission E car to the road by 2025.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

> Read about Mercedes decision to quit DTM and enter Formula E

The future regulation changes for the Formula E championship mean that race teams will have greater freedom to develop their own powertrains and batteries. Porsche believe that the technology they will need to develop to be competitive in Formula E will truly benefit its future road cars.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Porsche’s sudden announcement to end its involvement with LMP1 has ruffled a few feathers at the ACO and the FIA, the organisers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the WEC. Porsche was involved in adapting the LMP1 class rules to help the championship stay relevant, which makes its recent decision to abandon the class seem rather shocking. However, Porsche will still defend its driver and manufacturer titles until the end of the season, in a hope to turn them both into a consecutive hat trick.

From an outsider's point of view, a relatively short race held on tight, low-speed city course – like most of the Formula E circuits – doesn’t seem anywhere near as beneficial to sports car development as the ultimate high-speed, durability test that is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Especially if the race regulations could be tweaked by a manufacturer to make them more appropriate. But, considering the vast number of manufacturers vying to get involved with Formula E, you’d have to guess there’s more than just an affordable, golden marketing opportunity and a real chance to push some technology.

Porsche isn’t totally abandoning the smelly, oily world of petrol-powered race cars, though. It will put a greater emphasis on the GT classes than it did before. Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG, said: ‘The quality of both WEC and IMSA have led us to strengthen our commitment and concentrate our energies on using the 911 RSR. We want to be number one. To do that, we must invest accordingly.’

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/porsche/201606/porsche-718-cayman-gts-vs-996-rpm-technik-911-csr-evo
Porsche

Porsche 718 Cayman GTS vs 996 RPM Technik 911 CSR Evo

13 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/718-spyder
Porsche

Porsche 718 Spyder review

12 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/22967/updated-porsche-panamera-turbo-spied-undergoing-testing
Porsche

Updated Porsche Panamera Turbo spied undergoing testing

2 Aug 2019
Visit/porsche/22861/2019-porsche-911-rsr-revealed-with-new-42-litre-engine
Porsche

2019 Porsche 911 RSR revealed with new 4.2-litre engine

8 Jul 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mclaren/201626/2020-mclaren-elva-further-details-of-next-ultimate-series-supercar
McLaren

2020 McLaren Elva – further details of next Ultimate Series supercar

No roof? No worries… The McLaren Elva will be the ultimate sun-seeking supercar
12 Dec 2019
Visit/news/22743/first-details-of-the-gordon-murray-automotive-t50-hypercar-revealed
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar revealed

A true successor to the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more about its spectacular T.50 hypercar
10 Dec 2019
Visit/evo-car-of-the-year/202042/ecoty-2019-evo-car-of-the-year-preview
evo Car of the Year

eCoty 2019: evo Car of the Year preview

Our annual evo Car of the Year test is coming, in print and online
13 Dec 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019