Jose Altoveros / Porsche | July 28, 2017 11:55
Porsche to continue to competing in Le Mans, but not in LMP1
Rumors of Porsche leaving Le Mans have been circulating for awhile. A previous report stated that the German automaker could likely become an engine supplier for Formula One; this was after Porsche attended an F1 engine constructors meeting. However, new reports mention that Porsche could soon be shutting down their Le Mans Prototype program and head to Formula E instead.
According to a report initially made by Sportscar365, Porsche is expected to make it official within the week from their withdrawal from Le Mans, along with shutting down their LMP1 program by the end of the season. A board meeting was said to have determined the fate of the LMP1 program, which was originally intended to run until the 2018 season. The reason being the cost of the Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans program costing over $200 million a year.
The World Endurance Championship however will still see Porsche competing in the series in though likely not in LMP1. A Porsche representative confirmed to Jalopnik that the marque will continue to compete in Le Mans, but did not comment regarding the LMP1 topic however. Further official releases are set to be made within the week.
Apart from the LMP1 departure, Financial Times reports that Porsche will be shifting to Formula E. The entry into the all-electric series would be identical to that of Audi's exit from WEC and moving to the less costly Formula E. It would also allow Porsche to further advance their electric technology. An official announcement from both Porsche and Formula E is expected to be made soon.
With Porsche reportedly exiting the LMP1 program, it would leave Toyota as the sole manufacturer competing in the class. It would also leave the LMP1 class in limbo as the WEC contract with the FIA requires two manufacturers competing in LMP1. More on this once Porsche makes an official annoucement.