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Laudenbach: Porsche Has “Clear Goal” for Single-Make EV Series

Head of Porsche Motorsport on electrification strategy for motorsports beyond Formula E…

Photo: Porsche

Head of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach said there’s a “clear goal” to produce a single-make race series with a Porsche electric vehicle, with the lessons learned from the Mission R concept to help propel that to fruition.

The German manufacturer, which unveiled its 1,000 horsepower concept race car in September at the IAA Mobility show in Munich, has outlined an aggressive EV strategy for its line of production cars, with the target of half of its models being electrified by 2025.

While currently participating in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Laudenbach said its EV racing initiatives will expand in the coming years. 

“There was a certain reason why we put a concept race car on the exhibition in Munich,” Laudenbach explained. “There was a clear statement from Porsche is that this is the direction we want to go. 

“Yes I could imagine [seeing an electric single-make series]. We are working on possibilities to do that. One thing is that if you do a real customer car, a customer car needs to be in a certain ballpark concerning the price and costs.

“It is always very helpful if you have a base road car. That’s what we’ve found in the past with the 911 race cars. Therefore it might still be a bit down the road to really have a customer car that everybody could buy and we use in a one-make series.

“But I can assure you that what we have started on the exhibition in Munich is the start of the certain journey. We will have a follow-up very soon.”

Laudenbach wouldn’t outright confirm or deny if the Project R will race, although indicated that it’s likely to serve as the testbed for future EV racing projects.

“We have a clear commitment towards bringing electrification to motorsport and not only top motorsport but also customer sport,” he said. “That’s a clear commitment. We are working quite hard on that because it’s not quite an easy thing to do. 

“The final goal of course will be for example an electric Cup car, that you have a battery-electric vehicle going into open competition. That’s the clear goal we have and we have to push it.

“As we have a big bite of the customer motorsport, we don’t want to be second. We have a clear commitment that we want to push that.

“With the Mission R, we started the journey.”

Overall Package of Electric GT Championship “Isn’t Right Yet”

Laudenbach said the FIA’s planned Electric GT Championship has interested Porsche although he has voiced concerns over its current viability from both a cost and promotional standpoint. 

The Discovery-promoted series is targeting a 2023 launch utilizing cars based around GT3 architecture.

“EGT gives very big freedom concerning the technical development, which normally makes it expensive,” Laudenbach said.

“Yes the idea with the standard [spec battery] cell is there. The only thing you have to think is that we do not know anything about the EGT series — where will it happen, how will it be promoted.

“A bit of a problem we have with GTs now is that they’re not fighting for the overall lead. If you do an EGT and it’s just a support series and you spend a lot of money for that, this doesn’t give you back the value which you need.

“I think the overall package isn’t right yet. If the development costs are high and you spend a certain amount of money, the promotion is great and the race weekends are great and you’re the top series, that’s a completely different thing.

“For us, the entire setup is not in place, therefore we are very careful. I’m not saying we’ll exclude it. We are a GT manufacturer and we are a manufacturer with a clear commitment to electrification. 

“But so far it’s not where it should be for us really to make a step.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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