Porsche has confirmed that it will close its successful LMP1 programme at the end of the current FIA World Endurance Championship season in order to prepare for a works entry to Formula E in 2019.

Porsche returned to the premier class of sportscar racing in 2014, and has taken three straight Le Mans victories with the 919 Hybrid car, as well as the manufacturers' and drivers' WEC titles for the past two years.

Speculation emerged ahead of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans that Porsche was considering pulling the plug over concerns about its level of competitiveness against rival Toyota and the cost of racing in the series.

Porsche played down the speculation at Le Mans, insisting that it remained committed to the WEC until the end of its existing contract with the series in 2018, only for the board at Weissach to decide this week to close the doors on its LMP1 programme one year early.

Sister Volkswagen Group brand Audi pulled a similar move at the end of last year, shutting its LMP1 programme after 18 years in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal.

As part of a change in approach to its motorsport interests, Porsche will enter Formula E from the all-electric championship's sixth season, starting in the winter of 2019, taking the number of provisional entries for the campaign up to 12.

The news comes just days after Mercedes announced its entry to Formula E from season six, opting to shut its DTM programme in the process in order to focus on its electric interests.

 

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