Porsche’s exit from LMP1 competition is expected to be made official within the next 24 hours, following widespread reports of the German manufacturer’s withdrawal from the FIA World Endurance Championship at the end of this season.
Multiple German publications, as well as Sportscar365’s industry sources, have indicated that a board meeting on Wednesday determined the fate of the LMP1 program, which was initially confirmed through 2018, but instead has been canceled one year early.
Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl revealed at the recent WEC round at the Nürburgring that a decision on the future would be made by the end of this month, amid increasing speculation that the program, estimated to cost more than $200 million annually, was under scrutiny.
The decision would leave Toyota as the only remaining LMP1 manufacturer in the WEC, following Audi’s withdrawal at the end of last year, and cast serious questions over the future of the championship, particularly its World Championship status, which requires at least two registered manufacturers.
Porsche LMP1 factory driver Andre Lotterer told DH.be on Wednesday that he’s “expecting the worst.”
“They are not going to make a statement to say that we are continuing the program,” Lotterer said. “After Audi last year, [we] are fed up … What happens to sports car [racing]?
“Yesterday Mercedes made official that they was leaving DTM. Tomorrow we fear the withdrawal of Porsche from WEC …. What will we do? ”
Auto Hebdo, meanwhile, reports that Porsche is likely to shift its focus to a new Formula E for as early as the 2019/2020 season, with an announcement imminent on both fronts.
Stay tuned to Sportscar365 for the latest in this developing story.