Audi announced its exit from the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship last and then turned its attentions to Formula E, and Porsche is about to follow the steps as it was published that the Stuttgart manufacturer will abandon the top prototype class at the end of the year.
The decision to change categories came with a board decision for change of focus to electric and GT racing, meaning that the Mission: Future Sportscar will give place as the main to the Mission e, already revealed and in which Porsche is working at full power in order to include electric road cars into its lineup, so the more open rules of the following Formula E seasons will come in hand to help in development.
Activities of the LMP1 team and of the Porsche 919 Hybrid will go until this year's 6 Hours of Bahrain and then Porsche will join the electric open wheel championship in 2019. The 919 Hybrid will leave the LMP1 scene with impressive records across its four iterations since it first came in 2014, as they won the first race at Interlagos in the same year, which then turned into 3 straight wins of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most recent being last month, and the 2015 and 2016 FIA WEC titles.
As Porsche is leaving the FIA WEC, Toyota is left as the only manufacturer in the LMP1 class, and although an influx of privateer entries may guarantee the future of the class as a whole, the Japanese manufacturer may re-evaluate its commitment due to the doubts about the competitiveness of the LMP1 field and the World Championship status will remain in doubt as two manufacturers are the minimum numbers to keep it.
Porsche wasn't the only car brand to shock the racing world this week, as Mercedes also announced its entry in Formula E, then dropping its DTM program at the end of the 2018 season. While Porsche and Mercedes will go with their own teams to F-E, Audi already put Team ABT under its wing and BMW nominated Andretti Autosport as its representative.
PHOTO: FIA WEC