5 reasons why Porsche should definitely stay in LMP1
Porsche is currently mulling over its future in the top class of the World Endurance Championship.
Following the departure of Audi last year, the LMP1 class has been rather bare in 2017. Toyota is now Porsche’s only genuine competition, and with rumours surrounding both manufacturers’ futures in the sport, the class as a whole is in jeopardy.
With a verdict on Porsche’s future expected by the end of the month, we’ve decided to try to show the Stuttgart manufacturer why it should stay. No pressure…
It sounds obvious to say, but Le Mans and Porsche were made for one another. The hype for its 2014 return to the sharp end of endurance racing was huge, with fans preparing for a duel with Audi that they had been hoping for since 2000.
Having won the past three Le Mans, its tally of victories in the world’s greatest endurance race is now at 19. Surely it’s worth going for number 20?
Rumours about new manufacturers entering the fray are still bubbling away, despite a difficult season for the World Endurance Championship. Ferrari? BMW? Peugeot? They’ve all been rumoured for a potential LMP1 entry, and BMW is set to enter the GTE class of the championship next year.
While the class is weak as it stands, there’s every chance it won’t stay that way…
A new top class?
With that said, some are predicting LMP1’s demise in short order. The cost of developing the ultra-advanced hybrid systems is high, and competition is currently low.
So why not start an open GT class, putting ‘production’ cars at the sharp end as they were in the ’90s? Cars such as the Ferrari FXXK and McLaren P1 GTR prove that manufacturers like amping up their flagship hypercars, so it’s likely they’d be interested in racing them too. And if no one creates a place for the Aston Martin Valkyrie to go racing, we’ve officially struck out as a society. That is not hyperbole.
Road relevance is important to the manufacturers interested in LMP1 – so perhaps replacing it with a class for advanced road cars is the answer. If it happens, Porsche would be in the pound seat thanks to its factory outfits in LMP1 and GTE.
Guys, your brand is EVERYWHERE
The Porsche Experience Centre. The Porsche curves. The hundreds of Porsche banners all over the place. Porsche is certainly not lacking brand exposure at Le Mans.
While Porsche will almost certainly continue in GTE until the end of time, it would be strange if the most prominent manufacturer around the venue exclusively competed in the lowest class.
This is a weak argument, admittedly. Porsche distanced itself from full factory racing outfits throughout the 2000s, and telling you that the brand suffered as a result would be a lie.
However, the fans in the stands and the engineers in the garage have a passion for Porsche in endurance racing. VAG racing projects have taken the fall following Dieselgate, and from a business standpoint it’s understandable. However, it would be a shame for Porsche to leave the sport at the top of its game over politics caused by stablemates.
Story by Adam Weller
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