Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg has expressed his disappointment at the news Porsche will exit the World Endurance Championship later this year, labelling it a ‘shock to the system’ for the series.

Renault F1 driver Hulkenberg competed with the iconic German marque in the 2015 edition of the round-the-clock classic, claiming an unexpected victory alongside fellow LMP1 rookie Earl Bamber and Nicky Tandy.

Marking Porsche’s first modern-day LMP1 Le Mans win, though the manufacturer went on to win again in 2016 and 2017 it has since announced it will quit prototype sportscar racing at the end of the season in favour of a pursuit towards the Formula E Championship.

Set to leave Toyota as the only manufacturer entrant in WEC, Hulkenberg admits he is sad to see Porsche exit the series even if he says it had little more to achieve.

“It’s pity in a way to see Porsche leave the WEC Championship,” said Hulkenberg, who was racing with Force India at the time of his Le Mans win. “I guess they came back, they were there now four years, won it three times in a row so I guess you could say mission accomplished.

“They’re probably looking for a new challenge now. It was only down to two manufacturers, so probably need something new, something more challenging. Definitely a bit of a shock to the system there.”

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