Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 10 months ago 4
Motorsport

Surprise: Porsche Is Coming Back To Le Mans And Entering IMSA

In a shock move, Porsche has announced it'll return to the WEC and join the IMSA series via the new LMDh rules in

Remind me later
Porsche - Surprise: Porsche Is Coming Back To Le Mans And Entering IMSA - Motorsport

It doesn’t seem long ago that Porsche was announcing its withdrawal from the World Endurance Championship, but already, the German manufacturer has confirmed a return. What’s particularly interesting is we’re hearing this a little over two weeks on from Audi dropping the same WEC bombshell, while also announcing a departure from Formula E.

Like its fellow VW Group brand, Porsche is entering using the new LMDh rules, which will allow it to run a car in the IMSA-organised WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as the WEC. The regulations call for the use of an LMP2-derived chassis and a standardised Williams/Bosch hybrid system, with the manufacturer given freedom over the bodywork and the internal combustion side of the equation. The cars will weigh around 1000kg and produce 670bhp.

Porsche - Surprise: Porsche Is Coming Back To Le Mans And Entering IMSA - Motorsport

It’s these regulations which have tempted Porsche back to the fold, primarily because of cost. “The new LMDh category allows us to fight for overall victories with a hybrid system at the Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring classics – without breaking the bank,” said Oliver Blume, Porsche AG’s CEO.

In contrast to Audi, which will also be contesting the Dakar Rally, Porsche seems to be keen to stick around in the all-electric single-seater series. “We use the all-electric drive to contest the FIA Formula E as part of our works commitment and the highly efficient and emotional combustion unit in GT racing,” the press release notes.

Porsche - Surprise: Porsche Is Coming Back To Le Mans And Entering IMSA - Motorsport

We’ll have to wait a little while before this comes to fruition, with Porsche targeting 2023 as its first LMDh season. Audi, which last competed with its sister brand in the WEC four years ago, hasn’t given a timeframe.

Both of these cars will compete against entrants in the much less restrictive ‘LMH’ Hypercar class. Currently, Toyota, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and Peugeot are each preparing vehicles for the category.