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Lotterer Hoping to Keep Formula E Link After LMDh Move

Andre Lotterer “didn’t want to miss” shot at prototype return with Porsche; hopes to keep FE presence…

Photo: Porsche

Andre Lotterer says he’s looking at “different options” that would enable him to remain involved in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship alongside his return to prototypes as part of Porsche’s LMDh program.

The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner with Audi, who currently races for Porsche in Formula E, is one of the drivers selected to campaign the Porsche 963 in a factory capacity with Team Penske next year.

Lotterer’s new prototype drive will bring the 40-year-old back to the top tier of sports car racing for the first time since the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship season, which he contested in Rebellion Racing’s ORECA-built, Gibson-powered R13 LMP1 car.

Porsche has not confirmed its LMDh lineup allocations, with six drivers going to the WEC and the rest of the roster heading to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

After committing to an endurance racing return, which he described as something he “didn’t want to miss”, Lotterer still hopes to contribute in some way to Formula E.

This is despite his upcoming exit from Porsche’s factory Formula E lineup ahead of the 2023 season, as reported by Autosport in June.

“I’m committed to the sports car program, but when we took that decision together which was nice to have, it’s not like I had to leave the team or something,” Lotterer said.

“They asked me what I wanted to do and I thought about it a lot.

“You know, to come back and do sports car racing with Porsche, which is what I originally came for, was a challenge I didn’t want to miss.

“That’s going to be my priority but obviously, with the experience I have in Formula E, however it might be, I’m still going to come to races to support the team, so I’m going to be busy either way.”

Lotterer joined the Formula E grid in 2017 and spent two seasons with Techeetah before switching to Porsche for the manufacturer’s 2019-20 debut. At the same time, he placed his full career focus on the electric, street circuit-based championship.

“I decided when I joined Formula E, I think I was still doing WEC, I was just finishing,” he reflected.

“So then I decided not to continue [in WEC] because I saw how much energy is required to do [Formula E] as well.

“It’s not like I had an amazing program on the other side, so I thought it’s better I focus fully on Formula E. I think some guys are doing [both].

“It’s definitely busy but… I don’t know at the moment, I’m still looking with Porsche, how I can be involved as a valuable driver for the brand in Formula E and the different options.”

Lotterer’s best Formula E results with Porsche were the second-place finishes at Diriyah 2019, Berlin 2020, Valencia 2021 and Mexico City 2022, but a win has remained elusive.

He is now keen to add a fourth Le Mans success to his career record, which would put him level with Henri Pescarolo, Yannick Dalmas, Olivier Gendebien and Sebastien Buemi.

That would require Lotterer to be assigned to the WEC, considering the chances of a concerted four-car Porsche assault involving the two IMSA cars are looking unlikely.

“To win Le Mans one more time – with all the respect – but it’s a bit bigger than a Formula E race,” Lotterer said.

“I haven’t crossed the line first but I’ve proven that I can win a race. At the end of the day, winning it and proving that you can do it, for sure there’s a huge difference because it’s not written.

“I think this year we could have won one. To win [Le Mans] one time I think is something big but to win Le Mans a fourth time, for sure, would be magical if I had the opportunity to do that.”

Sam Smith contributed to this report

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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