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Formula E Getting Up Steam, Porsche Also Confirms 2019 Entry After Mercedes-AMG

After winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the 19th time to the bewilderment of Toyota, Porsche announced it’s leaving the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship. 2018 will be the Stuttgart-based automaker’s last season at the top of the WEC, leaving the 911 RSR to carry on in the GTE Pro and GTE AM classes.
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Just like Mercedes-AMG jumping ship from DTM to Formula E, Porsche also plans to take on the electric series from 2019 onward. Make no mistake about it, but the organizers of the World Endurance Championship have to do something about the lack of diversity in LMP1 as soon as possible.

The wildest of rumors suggest Ferrari plans to make a comeback at the upper echelon of sports-prototype racing, but it remains to be seen if the Italian company can make a case for such a spellbinding scenario. The last time Ferrari went sports car racing was in 1973 with the 312 PB.

Explaining its decision to abandon the motorsport that brought Porsche the bragging rights it prides itself on to this day, the automaker makes it clear that Formula E is a challenge that will pave the way to road-going electric vehicles. Go-faster models “such as the first fully battery-powered Mission E,” which is scheduled to enter production in 2019 probably for the 2020MY.

In hindsight, remember what a wasteland Formula E was in 2014 both on the track and in the grandstands? Now look at it, attracting major manufacturers into its rankings to the detriment of well-established series such as the World Endurance Championship. With the exception of future entrants (Porsche and Mercedes-AMG), current automakers competing in Formula E include Audi, Jaguar, Renault, Mahindra, PSA Groupe’s DS, Faraday Future, and NextEV.

“The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us,”
said Porsche’s Michael Steiner, Research and Development executive board member. “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.”

 
 
 
 
 

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