From 2019, a Porsche factory team will compete in Formula E. After four highly successful years, three victories in a row at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Championship titles in both the team and driver classification in 2015 and 2016, Porsche will end its involvement in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of the 2017 season.
Porsche will maintain 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. Porsche is now the fourth German OEM to realign its motorsport strategy this year to enter Formula E, following Audi (earlier post), BMW (earlier post) and Mercedes-Benz (earlier post).
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. Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. For 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.—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.
At the same time, Porsche is increasing its commitment in the GT class.
A diversity of manufacturers and the quality of both WEC and IMSA have led us to strengthen our commitment and concentrate our energies on using the 911 RSR. We want to be number one. To do that, we must invest accordingly.—Michael Steiner
Porsche will keep the successful LMP1 team fully intact, including the factory drivers. Alongside ventures in other racing series and the intensive preparation for Formula E, Porsche is examining other fields of application and development areas.
Formula E is the world’s first purely electric racing series and was launched on 13 September 2014. The International Automobile Federation, or FIA, which is also responsible for Formula 1, has organized the series to make a statement in favor of electromobility and to get more young people excited about motorsport. Unlike most other series, the season begins in the autumn and ends in summer. The race venues are specially designed street courses in the heart of major cities.