When Porsche exited the World Endurance Championship's LMP1 class in 2017 to focus on Formula E, it marked the end of the automaker's participation in top-level endurance racing.
Fast forward to today and the proposed LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) class to serve as the top category of both the WEC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, essentially allowing a team to compete in both series with the same car, could see Porsche make its return.
In an interview with Motorsport published Monday, Pascal Zurlinden, director of factory motorsport at Porsche, said a team was studying a LMDh entry but that no decision has been made yet.
No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
LMDh was announced by IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) and ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest), which sanctions the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the highlight of the WEC, in January. The rules are still being hammered out but LMDh could be introduced in the WEC by as early as the 2021/2022 season and in the WeatherTech series by the 2022 season.
Note, LMDh isn't a replacement for new LMH (Le Mans Hypercars) class which will also serve as the top category of the WEC, where balance of performance rules will help to level the playing field for the two classes. But unlike LMDh, LMH cars won't be able to compete outside of the WEC and thus is likely to be less attractive to automakers looking to promote their brand to the widest audience as possible. Aston Martin has already put its LMH program on hold as it awaits further details on LMDh.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 coronavirus has put everything in a state of flux. Key meetings between the organizers of the WEC, the WeatherTech series, and Le Mans have been delayed due to the pandemic. Most motorsport events in 2020 have also been canceled or postponed. You can view our evolving list here.