(Update: Welp, it's official. Porsche announces exit from WEC and confirms Formula E campaign)

Porsche has lost faith in Audi’s ability to “come back” to Le Mans and so will instead go after its stablemate in Formula E.

That’s according to r eports from across the racing world that suggest that Porsche is killing its World Endurance Championship entry, the Le Mans-winning 919, a year early to instead go after a Formula E title.

That follows Audi’s similar decision last year , and Mercedes’ recent decision to pull out of DTM , in favor of the electric open-wheel series. Indeed, it seems that there will be heavy German competition in the series in the next few years.

As Mercedes’ move is having shockwaves in DTM, so too would Porsche’s move have a ripple effect in WEC. Following Audi’s exit, Porsche had only Toyota to race against in the WEC’s top class, LMP1.

For Audi, the exit from WEC made a lot of sense, since it was using the series to develop its TDI engines, something it no longer wishes to dump (an estimated) $200 million a year into.


Porsche’s entry seemed a little safer, though, since it was developing gasoline-electric hybrid technology at Le Mans, something that might still be justifiable.

There were always fears, though, that racing against only one competitor wouldn’t hold Porsche’s (or the public’s) attention. Especially when that competitor was Toyota, which it must be said isn’t competing with Porsche off the track.

According to the reports, Porsche will, therefore, end its WEC entry a year early and won’t race in the series next year. The same reports state that its Formula E entry will be ready for the 2019-2020 season.

Porsche, as you may recall, was also reportedly seen attending an  F1 engine meeting recently,  suggesting that an F1 program might also be coming. That entry is a little less certain, though it would replace the WEC as a testbed for hybrid technology.

Although Porsche's exit from Le Mans racing has yet to be officially announced, Porsche’s WEC drivers certainly aren’t anticipating good news when the company makes an announcement about the program that's expected in the next 24 hours.

“I expect the worst,” 919 driver, Andre Lotterer,  told DH.be . “They are not going to make a statement to say that we are continuing the program.”

Whatever the case, the fate of traditional racing series looks to be at risk, with manufacturers preferring electric series to their internally combusting counterparts.

[source:  Jalopnik ]