Big week in the racing world with lots of announcements that paint a different picture of the future of car racing. After Mercedes announced the ending of its involvement in the DTM Championship, and consequently joining the Formula E race, another big German automaker makes the news.
Porsche is ending its Le Mans program and will compete in the all-electric Formula E series from 2019. Porsche’s prototype 919 Hybrid won the Le Mans 24 Hours in each of the past three years and also won the 2015 and 2016 World Endurance Championships.
Porsche will exit Le Mans, a year before its existing contract ends.
Michael Steiner, of Porsche’s research and development board, said: “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.”
Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag added: “If somebody told me when we started this project five years ago, that we’d be announcing a partnership with a brand like Porsche, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
Porsche’s departure from Le Mans leaves Toyota as the only LMP1 manufacturer in the series, and also calls into question the Japanese company’s future involvement.