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Shock News #2: Porsche Withdraw From WEC and Le Mans for 2018

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Porsche withdraw from LMP1 .jpg
    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!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  2. Bert Austen

    Bert Austen
    Pedal tho the metal Men Premium

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    Very bad news , Now have the Wec and 24h Le mans a big problem....Toyota the only LMP1 car ......affraid the gonna now stop also. :(
     
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  3. kedy89

    kedy89
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    RIP LMP1
     
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  4. Brice.S.

    Brice.S.
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    Bad news, but logic one.... (and soon mercedes withdraw from F1 ?)
    As Kedy89 said : RIP lmp1
    @++
     
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  5. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    This is really sad news.

    Obviously the money required to run a LMP-H team are huge and that will have had a bearing on the boards decision, but it seems more and more the marketing teams are pushing towards green racing like Formula E as the future of motorsport (in Europe anyway).

    I love the LMP1-H cars. They are incredible racing machines but the budget required to run them has increased dramatically over the last few years.

    I think the ACO and FIA need to really communicate with the car manufacturers and find out what they want. They want to go hybrid racing (as it links with the road car projects) but the issue of cost needs to be addressed. The DPi program and more recently the new Indycar are perfect examples of the organising body and the manufacturers getting together and figuring out what they want.

    This may open the door for factory DPi's at Le Mans as in interim solution, it all depends on whether the ACO swallow their pride and allow them. I think there was a little bit of sour grapes with that one as originally they would have been allowed and then they changed their mind. Agreed though that they should run in their own category. They are essentially LMP2 cars but are factory supported (which goes against the spirit of LMP2 being customer teams only) but we'll see.

    Where does this leave Toyota? I think they will run next year, even being the only team in the top category, but after that who knows. Someone posted on Facebook that they will be in a position to run this years car next year and save themselves a tonne of development costs and that will probably be the case.
     
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  6. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    That's not strictly true. Yes I think the days of the LMP1-H (in it's current form) are numbered but remember we will have around 8-10 LMP1 privateer cars next year (if the sales figures are to be believed).
     
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  7. Helmut Skrdla

    Helmut Skrdla
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    Craaaaaap.

    Well, Toyota gets to win finally. I'm sure they would have prefered it another way.

    I guess this is related to the very recent story about Porsche also cheating emission tests?
     
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  8. MarkR

    MarkR
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    Possibly related to more VW group emissions recalls. I seem to recall this was given as one of the reasons for Audi reducing their involvement in motorsport too. The whole emissions scandal doesn't seem to have damaged VW group sales in the UK but they must be feeling the pinch elsewhere - US legal costs maybe?

    Porsche to recall 22,000 cars over emissions software

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40740886
     
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  9. Lazarou

    Lazarou

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    The future of motorsport.

     
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  10. Slyfrequency

    Slyfrequency

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. travzy

    travzy
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    :( Don't tell me, another manufacturer is joining the stupid Formula Hairdryer
     
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  12. M-Bimmer

    M-Bimmer
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    Gentlemen...

    we are officially going into E.⚡️ racing war
     
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  13. k_badam

    k_badam
    Yer Nan

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    Meh, i have seen this coming a mile off, with Audi leaving WEC and more manufacturers joining Formula E which is now much more relevant because of the recent rules changes in European countries, i find it hard not to believe that they left WEC to go to Formula E. I also wouldn't be surprised if Toyota announced that there are leaving soon.
     
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  14. LeSunTzu

    LeSunTzu
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    This is as bad as Peugeot's withdrawal without notice.

    If at least it could make Formula-E somewhat better. Currently it makes a disappointing show on track and off track compared to WEC.
     
  15. kedy89

    kedy89
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    True, forgot about that :whistling:

    Privateers are better anyway. It's manufacturers that push for expensive technologies and according rules, forcing privateers out or in their own category due to high costs. And after a few years they tend to realize it's too expensive for them as well and they drop out.
     
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  16. mister dog

    mister dog
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    I've been thinking on what would be a viable 'manufacturer' alternative to LMP1 now, taking in mind both cost cutting and modern technology but I can't figure it out. Privateer LMP1 yes but without major brands putting in a factory effort it will lose a lot of its attractiveness.
     
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  17. Timmy UK

    Timmy UK
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    No one left to beat...
    Poor Toyota cannot finish/finish in one piece...
    Maybe the top 'secret' (reported everywhere) meetings with F1 really are true.
    Engine manufacturers, then team.
    Maybe.
    Maybe not.
     
  18. Andreas Knöpke

    Andreas Knöpke
    Let's drive side by side! Premium

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    Not really "shocking news" at all to me.

    • They won Le Mans 3 times again, thus got to keep the trophy.

    • With Audi having dropped last year there was less competition and no new manufacturer is on the horizon anyways.

    • The Toyota car was further developed as Porsche had already concentrated on future regulations which were scrapped due to cost cutting after Audi had left. So it would make no sense to run any longer in WEC when you know your car is worse after you had achieved your Le Mans goals anyways.
     
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  19. burrito

    burrito
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    300m vs 2.5m. Of course at this rate, with more manufacturers entering, they will be pushing hard to open up the rules and allow them to better show off their technology and beat the opposition. It makes sense to get on board now but at this rate Formula E will have budgets comparable to Sauber or FI by 2025. And then I am sure Formula E will run into the same problems every racing series eventually hits. Manufacturers burning themselves out and leaving for a "cheaper alternative way of advertising our technology".

    Formula E is that option right now. It's hip, it's trendy, it's consumer focused (something F1 has finally woken up to, miles too late) but it won't be forever and we have to hope other series will survive while Formula E peaks and falls.

    (To be clear nothing against Formula E as a sport, but it is killing other series in a much more aggressive way than seen before)
     
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  20. stingray_SIX_TWO

    stingray_SIX_TWO

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    Exactly. The 9R9 has served its purpose, done so exceptionally well and has reached the maximum you can extract out of the original design and engine. That said, without the megalomaniacs at VAG none of this would be an issue. Audi would run, Porsche would run and build a new car for 2020 and ACO could continue with the 'save the planet by wasting 100s of millions on carbon based super race cars' fantasy.

    I'm just glad that that fantasy DID produce machines like the R18, the 9R9 and the TS040/050 - they will forever be remembered as the definition of pushing the envelope.

    LMP1 now really has the chance to become exciting with the Privateers and LMP2 and GTE (BMW joining in '18) are super exciting series anyway. Thing is as was already mentioned if ACO says you need 2 or 3 manufacturers for it to be a world championship well...they gotta find some and they gotta ditch the hybrid category because the ones who can compete in it don't have the money and the ones who have the money can't or won't compete.
     
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