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Porsche 918 RSR - Click above for high-res image gallery

Sorry Formula One fans, it looks like Porsche won't be throwing its hat into your ring anytime soon. Instead, the German manufacturer is more likely to back a factory team at Le Mans, at least according to ESPN. CEO Matthias Mueller said that while F1 has some attractive aspects, it's also very expensive. Throw in the fact that success is a good sight less predictable than in other racing theaters and you can begin to understand why Porsche is a little skittish about diving into the deep end of the motorsports pool.

Instead, Mueller says that there's a stronger possibility that we could see Porsche return to Le Mans. If you're thinking that Audi just might have a thing or two to say about having to go fender-to-fender with its corporate cousin, you're probably right. Still, the minds at Porsche seem to think that having two teams parented by Volkswagen gunning for the checkered flag is better than just one. For now, this is all just speculation. Mueller said that he wants all Volkwagen Group companies to come together to discuss a cohesive motorsports plan in the near future.


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[Source: ESPN]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aren't there different Le Mans classes?

      Audi and Porsche don't have to compete directly.

      At Le Mans, I am all for the spreading out of VAG... yeah, you read that right.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Porsche does compete at Le Mans in the GT2 class with the 911 GT3 RSR. Audi has only competed in LMP1 (the premier category) and goes for overall wins. GT2 cars, barring immense attrition, will never win overall. Porsche also recently competed in the LMP2 class with the RS Spyder, which was an incredible racer, but again, did not compete for overall wins.

        The news article suggests that Porsche may be looking into an LMP1 program to rival Audi's. Porsche does need a presence in a top-level motorsport, and F1 was tipped to be the route, given that corporate sister Audi has been competing in LMP1 at Le Mans and around the world. (And doing a damn good job at it, I might add)

        Le Mans is the ideal fit for both brands, so if Porsche gets the green light for a LMP1 program, it will be interesting to see how is it managed in relation to Audi.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes!!!!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not to mention that Porsche now heads all of the VW group's sports car model development which includes Audi and Lamborghini.

      As John P already said. F1 is the nascar of the 'upper' class. I'd say it's the Nascar of the international class moreso but it's true.

      When a series becomes so regulated and removed from brand manufacturing that only a couple teams actually represent actual car makes then you've reached Nascar status. No tech carries over to production for the most part. F1 with their crazy high-revving low-displacement engines, carbon fiber transmissions and such.

      NASCAR is different in that none of the technology in the manufacturers road cars make it into their NASCAR development. Carburated OHV v-8s, no power steering manual sludgeboxes.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Good. I like Le Mans better, besides, Porsche belongs in Le Mans, not F1.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't just re-badge the R10 and put a Porsche sticker on it. That pretty much what happened with Bentley, it was a case of "so what?"

      As for F1, it's not needed for Porsche. It's not really a good deal for any manufacturer (outside of Ferrari). It costs 100 million just to run at the back of the pack, never mind getting into the points. The return on investment just isn't there with F1 right now. Plus, Porsche has been doing just fine without it. Le Mans and sports car racing is where Porsche belongs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This makes a lot of sense. Porsche has quite a bit of LeMans heritage and I believe the format would yield many more real-world benefits for its street cars. Also, it seems that LeMans rules changes are more gradual and predictable.

      I don't blame them for shunning F1, who wants to spent hundreds of millions on engineering and development costs only to have the rug pulled out from under you by Bernie and Max?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I meant to add that if anyone can make hybrids desirable, it is going to be Porsche. I definitely won't hold my breath to see if the next generation Prius is any more exciting than this one. The 918 on the other hand is the most beautiful hybrid ever created.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am so in love with this car
      • 4 Years Ago
      LeMans makes way more sense for Porsche. Good Decision.

      by the way I really liked your comment level-

      "F1 is becoming the Nascar for the upper class..."

      I think's it already there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If only more OEMs pushed for Le Mans instead of F1...

      Ferrari, for example...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sure those Ferrari's might be "more relevant" but F1 is part of Ferrari. It's about making image around the brand and that's what marketing is all about.
        2010 season 527 million people watched F1 according to FIA, Le Mans was not.

        • 4 Years Ago
        LeMans is where the racing is at. LeMans is where the hot cars are at. LeMans, so good its parodied.

        F1 is the ultimate pit crew challenge. F1, so bad, it is a parody.
        • 4 Years Ago
        To make the question a bit simpler: which Ferraris would people visualize more quickly?
        - a 1967 Ferrari 330 P3/P4 at Le Mans
        - a 1975 Ferrari 312T for F1

        I think the Le Mans cars are more visceral and relevant to the general public than the F1 cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Isn't formula 1 an immensely challenging sport for the entire team? I would think Ferrari should stick to F1! They are one of the premier teams of the sport and people watch F1 because of the presence of such teams.
        • 4 Years Ago
        NASCAR is another spec series which is also immensely challenging for the entire team, doesn't mean I'll watch it, either.

        I like to see cars which look more-or-less like street cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would hate to see Audi and Porsche both competing in the LMP1 category. Given the common parent and Audi's success that would seem to be a waste of capital. Rather Porsche should focus on the GT category which gives it a close tie-in to its production line. The problem is that people usually remember the GT winner, they only recall the overall winner

      I still think VW is going to jump in with both feet to Formula 1 engine manufactoring wheen F1 adopts the 4 banger w/ turbo. That plays right into VW's engine strategy and would be an excellent marketing play.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, I dissagree. There is enough separation between the companies in the VAG that they would actually compete with each other. Innovation is quickly copied by all other brands anyway, so it's not like them being under the same corporate umbrella would change the advantages of being the first to come up with a particular time-saving technology.

        I think this could even work out in VAG's favor if they did it right: Can you imagine how big sports car racing would become if Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, Bently and Bugatti all were fully involved?? The Le Mans series has a lot of room to grow, and if VAG can take the reins and steer it in the correct direction, ALL participants will benifit- not just the winners.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What was wrong with having both?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually Porsche makes a lot of money through racing. You don't think they just give away all those 911s you see racing do you? Porsche is well known in the racing world for great plug and play race cars and factory support. That's one major advantage that other racing series have over F1. You can sell your cars to privateers to make more money.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, now that Porsche has to make all of their money selling cars rather than hedge funds, they can't afford too many motorsports at once.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The solution is simple:

      Porsche for classic Le Mans style endurance racing, including GT1, GT2 categories. (Organizers should drop the open top LMP classes - no connection to any real cars.)

      Audi should lobby on WRC rules until they make enough sense to run a new Quattro there.
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