German marque Porsche has announced it will join the all-electric Formula E championship as a works manufacturer from 2019, which also marks the end of its involvement in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of this year.
In a release this week, the company said the realignment of its motorsport involvement is derived from the direction set out in its ‘Porsche Strategy 2025′ plan – which will see the manufacturer develop a combination of pure GT vehicles and fully-electric sports cars.
Despite Porsche pulling out of the LMP1 class in the FIA WEC, it will continue its involvement in international GT racing with the 911 RSR (below) – including the WEC, the American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and other endurance races.
“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E. The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us,” said Michael Steiner, member of the executive board for research and development at Porsche AG.
“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 company has enjoyed a very successful four-year stint in the LMP1 class of the WEC with the 919 Hybrid race car (below), achieving three consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with world championship titles in both the team and driver categories for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Porsche’s announcement comes just days after fellow German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz announced it will leave the DTM touring car series – a championship is has been involved with for some decades – to enter the Formula E championship from 2019.