Talks between the NTT IndyCar Series and German auto manufacturer Porsche regarding a future engine supply agreement have come to light.
RACER has followed the topic with interest in recent weeks as the possibility of signing Porsche to become an official supplier gained momentum behind the scenes. With a new 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine formula due in 2021, IndyCar has held numerous meetings with a variety of manufacturers, including the German auto and racing powerhouse, which are believed to have started in January at Daytona.
In search of a third supplier to complement Chevy and Honda, Porsche’s legendary status in sports car competition, and to a lesser degree, Formula 1 and IndyCar, would add a powerful brand to assist the series’ ongoing growth.
RACER has learned, however, that a decision, made around the Long Beach Grand Prix event, to forego an IndyCar engine program was delivered. Although there is adequate time for Porsche, or any other marque, to enter the 2021 season with a new motor, the owners of 19 overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans are not currently expected to rejoin IndyCar, where it last raced in 1990.
Porsche’s sole focus of late in open-wheel competition involves the all-electric Formula E series, where the brand will enter a factory effort in the upcoming 2019/2020 season.
With electrification at the core of Porsche’s current and future racing strategies, its need for a hybrid-electric solution to be included in IndyCar’s next-generation powertrain rules, and the present lack of options in that regard with IndyCar’s 2021-2016 regulations, could have been a factor in its decision to remain focused on Formula E.
Assuming Porsche does not reverse course and opt in with IndyCar engines, the conversations between both entities would not necessarily come to an end.
Persistent rumors of an initiative to bring Porsche’s popular Carrera Cup GT racing category to the United States, as a regular support series featured at IndyCar’s road and street courses, continue to make the rounds. It’s unclear whether the Carrera Cup would be sanctioned by INDYCAR or by its longtime partners at IMSA.