Porsche wants GTE car to race on beyond 2022

Porsche is targeting a future for the GTE division in the FIA World Endurance Championship beyond the current two-year commitment to the class by the series organisers. 

Porsche wants GTE car to race on beyond 2022

The German manufacturer wants its mid-engined 911 RSR-19 to be able to race on in the GTE Am class of the WEC and in the European Le Mans Series until at least the end of 2023.

Pascal Zurlinden, Porsche's head of factory motorsport, expressed confidence that the FIA and WEC promoter and ELMS organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest will continue to allow the cars beyond 2022. 

"We have sold 10 cars to customers in GTE [for 2021] and I think the ACO will still allow them to run to the end of 2023; that is my feeling," Zurlinden told Motorsport.com. "That is what the customers are committed to and that is our target, until the end of 2023 minimum."

Read Also:

ACO president Pierre Fillon didn't rule out GTE Am division continuing beyond 2022, saying: "With the number [of cars] we have in GTE Am, we are completely open to continue into 2023, but it is not decided."

Zurlinden said that it wasn't a given that GTE Pro will disappear at the end of next season when the present commitments from Porsche and Ferrari, the only remaining full-season WEC participants, come to an end.

"If you look at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, we will have four Porsches in the Pro category, two of them being running privately [by HubAuto Corsa and WeatherTech Racing], so who knows what is 2023 to be honest," he said.

"If the Hypercar category is a big success, and LMP2 is quite huge as you can see, the question is how much space do we have for GT? Do you need a GT pro class, or is not better to have just the customers who have saved the championship in the past years?"

Asked if Porsche will definitely not be involved in GTE Pro should it continue into 2023 when the marque's new LMDh prototype comes on stream, Zurlinden replied: "This we cannot say."

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Kevin Estre, Neel Jani

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Kevin Estre, Neel Jani

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Fillon explained that the future of GT racing under the ACO umbrella will be decided in conjunction with the FIA GT Commission over the summer and then announced during Le Mans week in August.

"I can only say one thing today, which is that we will continue to have prototypes and GTs in WEC and at Le Mans," he stated. "After that, factory or not factory in GT, you will know after Le Mans."

The future of GTE has looked increasingly uncertain after a series of manufacturer withdrawals from the Pro ranks. 

The Ford GT programme in the WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was not extended beyond its four-year lifecycle at the end of 2019, while BMW opted not to continue in the WEC after what turned out to be a one-off campaign with the M8 GTE in the 2018/19 superseason. 

Aston Martin subsequently axed its GTE Pro programme at the end of last season, leaving only Porsche and Ferrari.

In IMSA, Porsche ended its GTLM involvement after 2020 and BMW subsequently downscaled its programme with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to just the four endurance rounds for 2021, leaving Corvette as the only full-time manufacturer in the class.

That prompted IMSA to ditch the GTE rulebook, which is the basis of its GT Le Mans class, for 2022. It will be replaced with a category known as GT Daytona Pro for GT3 cars, which already race in the pro-am GTD class. 

Read Also:

Fillon has played down the significance of the adoption of GT3 for the pro division in North America, calling it "an IMSA decision". 

shares
comments

Related video

Risi announces Le Mans line-up, will race at Monza
Previous article

Risi announces Le Mans line-up, will race at Monza

Next article

Glickenhaus names drivers for Portimao WEC debut

Glickenhaus names drivers for Portimao WEC debut
Load comments
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Prime

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring Prime

How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring

Toyota’s stranglehold on the FIA World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions...

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Prime

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
Why F1-snubbed Davidson has no regrets in retirement Prime

Why F1-snubbed Davidson has no regrets in retirement

He may not have won the Le Mans 24 Hours - falling agonisingly short in 2016 - and didn't get the opportunities in Formula 1 his talents merited. But after calling time on his professional career last month, Anthony Davidson says his pride in his performances with Peugeot and Toyota in LMP1 mean more than the results he achieved

WEC
Dec 17, 2021
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021