With Porsche confirming 2017 will be the final year of LMP 1 competition for the German brand, have we seen the last of the top tier of endurance prototype racing? In something of a bad 12 months for world motorsport, the bombshell of Porsche leaving both the WEC and Le Mans adds yet another nail in the coffin of the fast declining LMP 1 prototype category of long distance endurance racing. Following hot on the heals of Audi pulling out of prototype motorsport at the end of last year, and news of the very recent decision of Mercedes to withdraw from DTM competition for 2019, these past 12 months have been rather difficult for German manufacturers in top level motorsport competition. For now the announcement from Porsche will leave just the Toyota team in LMP 1 from next season, raising the very real possibility that 2017 could be the last time the ultra impressive LMP 1 category is seen in both the World Endurance Championship and the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour event. The full statement from the ACO can be read below: Porsche, which recently confirmed its participation in the FIA LMP1-H World Endurance Championship as a manufacturer up to the end of the 2018 season, and which has been actively involved in the development of the technical regulations that will come into force in 2020, has just announced the withdrawal of its LMP1 hybrids from the end of the 2017 season. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, promoter of the WEC and organiser of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, regrets this precipitous departure, as it does the abruptness of the decision from one of endurance racing’s most successful and lauded manufacturers. However, the ACO and the FIA, guardians of the existence and quality of the FIA World Endurance championship, have immediately set to work to put forward to everyone involved in endurance racing the outline of the 2018 season – a season which promises to be quite exceptional thanks to the introduction of new innovations. Clearly, the reduction of costs and stability, but also inventiveness and audacity, will be vital in making it possible to stage an increasingly spectacular and attractive championship with the sport of endurance racing at the forefront. This unprecedented 2018 World Championship will, without doubt, excite and enthuse competitors, partners and fans of endurance racing alike. We look forward to seeing you in Mexico City on September 2 and 3 for the next WEC event when further information will be given. For more motorsport news, check out the Motorsport Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment and get yourself involved in the discussions today! Sad to hear of Porsche withdrawing from LMP 1 racing? Is this the end of the category in your opinion? What now for WEC and Le Mans? Let us know in the comments section below!