Porsche has announced it will withdraw from the GT Le Mans class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the end of the 2020 season.
The German manufacturer, which has maintained a presence in the series since its inception in 2014, has cited the effects of the pandemic as a key reason for its withdrawal.
Fritz Enzinger, Porsche Motorsport vice president, said the decision was ‘only logical’ for the brand.
“The decision to halt our factory involvement in the IMSA series was not an easy one for us. 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.”
This announcement leaves Corvette and BMW as the lone full-time manufacturers in IMSA.
Corvette has only recently introduced its all-new C8.R, while BMW, which left the FIA World Endurance Championship after one full season with the M8 GTE, has not yet unveiled its North American plans for 2021.
Last month, Porsche had announced it would not bring its two IMSA cars to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in September.
Porsche had finished first and second in the 2019 season, with Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor claiming the GTLM title with CORE autosport in the 911 RSR.
A possible entry in the new LMDh prototype class has been investigated by Porsche as it would also allow the brand to fight for overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
CORE autosport team owner, Jon Bennett, lauded the partnership between the team and Porsche.
“CORE’s partnership with Porsche has always been a dream for me.
“Not just because I love the brand, but because partnering with Porsche’s history and reputation raised the visibility of the exceptional work we do at CORE.
“I thank Porsche for an incredible seven years and I thank our employees who are the best in the business. I am honoured we shared this journey together.”