Even before last week's news that Porsche would be ending its factory GT Le Mans programme in the IMSA SportsCar Championship at the end of the year, it looked as if the GTE platform in general was on a firm decline.
Yes, last year Porsche brought in the new RSR-19 for use in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and Corvette rolled out the all-new C8.R to replace the ageing C7.R at the start of this year. But the obvious fact remains that there were no new manufacturers queuing up to join a class that, on both sides of the Atlantic, was realistically down to the minimum number of factory entrants needed to keep it viable.
In IMSA, Porsche's forthcoming exit will leave only Corvette and BMW as full factory entrants in GTLM. And while Corvette can be assumed to be in it for the long haul having only just brought out a new car, BMW is only committed until the end of this year with its pair of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-run M8 GTEs. Last year, the Bavarian marque decided to end its WEC involvement after just one (admittedly longer-than-usual) season. It's not hard to imagine a similar choice being made again this year in IMSA, especially given Porsche's exit.