Report: Porsche killing LMP1 program, announcement imminent

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2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car

2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car

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Porsche's storied run in the World Endurance Championship may be sprinting toward its ultimate demise.

Earlier this month it was reported that the automaker may leave the race series in favor of joining Formula 1, as a power unit supplier. An official announcement from Porsche could come within 24 hours.

Sportscar 365 reported that Porsche's board met Wednesday to determine the LMP1 program's fate, and the likely result was to shutter the program. The program reportedly costs $200 million annually.

But cost may not be the main reason for Porsche's exit. The automaker has considerably tightened its belt after an emissions scandal rocked parent-company Volkswagen, and also the coming changes in regulations may push Porsche out the door.

Porsche LMP1 team principle Andreas Seidl told Sportscar 365 that a decision regarding the fate of the Porsche LMP1 program would come by the end of this month.

Even Porsche LMP1 factory driver Andre Lotterer told DH.be he's expecting the worst for the program.

Motorsports are rapidly shifting after Mercedes-Benz said they would pull out of DTM earlier this week in favor of Formula E, and BMW and Audi are reportedly considering pulling out of the German touring car series as well.

If Porsche exits LMP1 this year, following Audi's exit last year, that would leave Toyota as the sole automaker participating in the class.

Regardless of the outcome, it's clear a shift in racing is coming, and Porsche's return a few years ago to LMP1 might be shorter lived than expected.

Stay tuned for more developments.

 
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