The 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season is set to be the last for Porsche North America’s GTLM class programme, the German marque has announced today.
Porsche’s longstanding IMSA GTLM effort, which has titles and major race wins to its name dating back to the 2014 United SportsCar Championship season, has been brought to an end due to the financial impact of the current COVID 19 crisis.
Porsche has said that this news will have no effect on its current GT3 and GT4 customer programmes in IMSA, which compete in the WeatherTech GTD class and Michelin Pilot Challenge’s GS category.
The German marque also states that it continues to evaluate running in the top class of IMSA in the future as part of the forthcoming LMDh platform.
With Porsche’s two GTLM 911 RSRs (that have also been withdrawn from this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours) gone from the IMSA grid at the end of 2020, the GTLM class is down to just two factory programmes for 2021 as it stands, from BMW Team RLL and Corvette Racing.
There is no impact on Porsche’s factory FIA WEC GTE Pro class entries.
“The decision to halt our factory involvement in the IMSA series was not an easy one for us,” emphasises Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “With a view to the current corporate situation in connection with the Coronavirus pandemic, it is only logical for Porsche Motorsport to make a contribution to coping with the economic fallout. We’ve openly discussed our exit with all involved. At this point, we’d like to convey our sincere thanks to Jim France and the colleagues at IMSA for their understanding. Porsche belongs in endurance racing. We will work hard to ensure that this is only a temporary Auf Wiedersehen.”
Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “For us sportspeople, such endings are always painful. For our operational team Core Autosport and everyone involved, I’m very sorry that we were unable to make this decision with more lead time. At the same time, I’d like to thank everyone affected by this for their professional handling of this situation.”
Steffen Höllwarth (Head of Operations IMSA Championship at Porsche Motorsport): “We hope that this season’s races will still be contested so that we don’t leave the IMSA stage soundlessly. Of course, such decisions impact the mood, but we’re all professionals and we’re now focusing on the remaining races of the current season.”