Like many others, I am struggling to come to terms with Porsche Motorsport 'competing' in Formula-E and dismissing their heritage of competing in the top Class at Le Mans. But with the latest FIA announcement that the new 'Hypercar' regulations "can be based on a production car", have they opened the door for Porsche to dip their toe back in the water?
Hear me out. The GT1 regulations in the 1990's were as close to the Hypercar regs as anything else that has preceded it. These cars were largely Prototype cars, but they were based on production based models - or even homologated to have road going versions. Porsche started the 911 GT1 with a 993 iteration, even though it was more prototype than road-car. Porsche finally won the 24 Heures du Mans in 1998 after its third version of their GT1 - 993, 996 and then the one above - the GT1-98.
The GT1-98 was incredibly similar to the current 911 RSR. Both (loosely) based on the 911, but the engine had been moved forward to accommodate the extended aero and also improve balance. The chassis for both cars was bespoke to that car. The GT1-98 was a 'long tail' which allowed it to be about 30cm longer than the 911 RSR. The GT1-98 was 940kg, whereas the RSR is restricted to 1,243kg based on regulations - imagine the RSR being allowed to run 300kg lighter?! The wheelbase on the GT1-98 was also longer by 13cm.
But can you see my point here? Porsche have a mid-engined chassis that would not take much in terms of development to make it better - and lighter. And who wouldn't want to hear that screaming 4.0 litre naturally aspirated flat-six going for outright wins at Le Mans?
Are you listening Porsche? It's your race, come back and continue to own it.