From 2019 a Porsche works team will compete in Formula E, the world’s first purely electric racing series that was launched on September 13, 2014. As a result, the company will be ending its involvement in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of the 2017 season.
After four highly successful years, three victories in a row at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the latest of which was achieved by kiwi drivers Brendan Hartley and Earl Bamber along with team mate Timo Bernhard), and World Championship titles in both the team and driver classification in 2015 and 2016, Porsche will leave the LMP1 class behind. Porsche maintains its focus on international GT racing, and will also concentrate its motorsport strategy on using the 911 RSR in the GT class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the highlight of which is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and other long-distance classics.
This realignment of motorsport is derived from the direction set out for the company in Porsche Strategy 2025, which will see Porsche develop a combination of pure GT vehicles and fully electric sports cars, such as the first fully battery-powered Mission E road car. “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”, says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. Porsche has already taken the first steps towards developing its own Formula E racing car this year.