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Lotterer hopes to retain Formula E link after LMDh move – Sportscar365

Photo: Porsche

Andre Lotterer says he is looking at “different options” that would allow him to remain involved in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship alongside his return to prototypes under Porsche’s LMDh programme.

The three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner with Audi, who currently races for Porsche in Formula E, is one of the drivers selected to race the factory Porsche 963 with Team Penske next year.

Lotterer’s new prototype will take the 40-year-old driver back to the top level of sports car racing for the first time since the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship season, which he contested in Rebellion’s R13 Racing, built by ORECA and powered by Gibson. LMP1 car.

Porsche has not confirmed its LMDh lineup allocations, with six drivers going to the WEC and the rest of the roster heading to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Having embarked on a return to endurance racing, which he described as something he “didn’t want to miss”, Lotterer still hopes to contribute to Formula E in some way.

This is despite its upcoming exit from Porsche’s factory Formula E line-up ahead of the 2023 season, as Autosport reported in June.

“I’m committed to the sports car program, but when we made that decision together, which was good, it’s not like I had to leave the team or anything like that,” Lotterer said.

“They asked me what I wanted to do and I thought about it a lot.

“You know, coming back and racing sports cars with Porsche, which is what I originally came for, was a challenge I didn’t want to miss.

“It’s going to be my priority but obviously with the experience I have in Formula E, whatever form it takes, I’m always going to come to the races to support the team, so I’m going to be busy anyway. “

Lotterer joined the Formula E grid in 2017 and spent two seasons with Techeetah before moving to Porsche for the manufacturer’s debut in 2019-20. At the same time, he has focused his entire career on the street circuit-based electric championship.

“I decided when I joined Formula E, I think I was still doing WEC, I was just finishing,” he explained.

“So I decided not to continue [in WEC] because I saw how much energy is needed to do [Formula E] as well.

“It’s not like I have an amazing program on the other side, so I thought it was better if I focused entirely on Formula E. I think some guys do [both].

“It’s really busy but… I don’t know at the moment, I’m still looking with Porsche, how I can be involved as a valuable driver for the brand in Formula E and the different options.

Lotterer’s best results in Formula E with Porsche were second places at Diriyah 2019, Berlin 2020, Valencia 2021 and Mexico City 2022, but a win remained elusive.

He now wants to add a fourth Le Mans success to his list, which would put him on a par with Henri Pescarolo, Yannick Dalmas, Olivier Gendebien and Sébastien Buemi.

This would require Lotterer to be assigned to the WEC, given that the chances of a concerted four-Porsche assault involving the two IMSA cars seem unlikely.

“Winning Le Mans once again – with all due respect – but that’s a bit bigger than a Formula E race,” Lotterer said.

“I didn’t cross the finish line first but I proved that I could win a race. At the end of the day, winning and proving you can do it for sure makes a huge difference because it’s not written down.

“I think this year we could have won one. To win [Le Mans] once, I think it’s something big, but to win Le Mans a fourth time, for sure, it would be magical if I had the opportunity to do it.

Sam Smith contributed to this report

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.