Porsche will withdraw from the World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP1 class at the end of this season, but will maintain its GT effort with the Porsche 911 RSR. It has also confirmed its entry into the Formula E championship from 2019.
Porsche also announced that its LMP1 team would remain intact; this includes drivers Nick Tandy, Neel Jani, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and André Lotterer, although it's not clear which championships they will race in. Development of the Stuttgart-based firm's first Formula E race car is already under way.
The brand will continue its effort in racing in the GT class of WEC, with the 911 RSR now the focus of its combustion-engined racing efforts. It has seen great success in the LMP1 class, with three Le Mans 24 Hour victories in a row.
The announcement also raises the possibility that Audi will enter Formula 1 from 2021 when engine regulations are tweaked, pending approval from the Volkswagen Group board. This is yet to be confirmed.
Like almost all of the other road car manufacturers who have entered the Formula E championship, Porsche will enter the pure electric race series with the interest of furthering its electric car development.
"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, board member for R&D at Porsche.
Earlier this week, Mercedes withdrew from the German touring car championship (DTM) and announced its entry into Formula E from 2019.