Porsche quitting LMP1 racing to join Formula E for 2019/20 season

High-performance German car maker Porsche has announced that it will be entering the Formula E Championship in the 2019/20 season – and exiting the Le Mans Prototype 1-Hybrid (LMP1-H) class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) to free up the necessary resources. 

The company first announced plans to enter Formula E in October 2016 and has been doing some work behind the scenes, but specifics of its entry into the championship weren’t known until now.

Porsche confirmed recent speculation regarding when it would start competing in the electric car racing circuit in a press release:

“Beginning in 2019, Porsche will compete with a factory team in the Formula E Championship. As a result, the company will with great regret end its involvement in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of the 2017 season.”

That means Porsche will be retiring from the pinnacle of endurance supercar racing at the peak of its powers, having secured a hat-trick of Le Mans 24 Hours wins earlier this year with its 919 Hybrid.

The manufacturer will, however, continue to feature in the lower GT division of the WEC, where it will race the rear-engined 911 RSR.

News that Porsche will enter the Formula E Championship for the 2019/20 season follows similar moves by a number of other high-performance car makers, including Audi and Jaguar, who both already have a presence in the championship.

Mercedes-Benz announced it would be entering Formula E in 2019/20 earlier this week, while BMW is lined up to join the circuit for season five in 2018/19.

Porsche’s Michael Steiner explained the appeal of Formula E in a statement:

“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.”

The 2017/18 Formula E Championship gets underway in December in Hong Kong.