Porsche to quit WEC top tier for Formula E

Le Mans winners Porsche set to quit LMP1

The championship, which Porsche won in 2015 and 2016, includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, won outright by Porsche for the past three years with its 919 Hybrid auto. Now, Porsche's gone and done the same.

Sadly, as had been reported earlier this week, Porsche will be ending its LMP1 campaign in the World Endurance Championship at the end of the current 2017 season to free up resources for the new endeavor.

Like these other manufacturers, Porsche will use Formula E as a test bed to develop new electric powertrains and technology, ahead of the firm's first all-electric auto arriving on sale in 2020.

Good night, sweet hybrid prince.

"Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E road vehicle programme", Steiner said.

"It's clear that the hard work done to create a relevant laboratory for developing electric vehicle technologies has been successful, and I look forward to seeing Formula E continue to be a place of great sporting competition as well as innovation".

Porsche isn't totally abandoning the smelly, oily world of petrol-powered race cars, though.

Porsche has reaffirmed its commitment to GT racing and will continue to run its new rear-engined 911 RSR in the GTE Pro class of the WEC and in GT in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

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Moreover, to make things interesting, Formula E will no longer need two cars per driver - this means drivers will not have to change their cars mid-way into the race.

The transition from LMP1 to Formula E is expected to save Porsche significant money, some reporting the necessary budget could shrink by as much as 90 percent per year.

The move may come as a shock to Le Mans enthusiasts, but it is hardly surprising when you consider Porsche is owned by VW and that Audi, another VW-owned company, quit Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship in 2016.

Porsche says the realignment of its motorsport activities reflects the company's plans to deliver both GT and fully electric road cars in the near future.

It's understood an emergency meeting is being held at TMG today to determine Toyota Gazoo Racing's future. Especially if the race regulations could be tweaked by a manufacturer to make them more appropriate.

Its attempts to win the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time were foiled by mechanical issues on its two full-season WEC cars and its third entry being involved in a race-ending incident with an LMP2 auto.

This choice to remove the 919 Hybrid leaves Toyota as the only manufacturer of LMP1, thus calling obviously into question the sustainability of the premier class of endurance.

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