Motorsport fans, hold on to your hats. Or eat them. Porsche has announced it will quit the FIA World Endurance Championship’s top-flight LMP1 division at the end of the season to focus its efforts on a Formula E entry for 2019.
Yep, Porsche has followed Mercedes by exiting from a high-profile race series to enter the all-electric single seater championship in a couple of years (earlier this week Merc pulled the plug on its DTM programme).
“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E road car programme,” said Porsche board member Michael Steiner.
“The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to 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.”
The shock announcement means that in 2019, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and Audi will all be together in electric dreams, racing silent single-seaters around city circuits, business parks or just parks – depending on the location.
Porsche’s decision to pull the ripcord on LMP1 less than a year after sister brand Audi did the same leaves Toyota as the only manufacturer potentially committed to LMP1 for 2018. Which could finally give the Japanese firm that elusive Le Mans win (they’re staring straight at an open goal). But that’s not racing. Plus, Toyota’s commitment to WEC for next year was based on Porsche being in the series. You do need two to tango after all.