Porsche WEC driver Lotterer could be tempted by LMP1 privateers

Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer says he is open to racing with a privateer LMP1 team next year once Porsche quits the World Endurance Championship's top division

Porsche WEC driver Lotterer could be tempted by LMP1 privateers

Lotterer has found himself without an LMP1 drive beyond the end of the season for a second year in a row, in the wake of Audi and Porsche's withdrawal announcements in 2016 and '17 respectively.

Although the German has found a seat in Formula E with Techeetah, he is keen to continue in the premier sportscar championship in 2018/19.

Ginetta, which has received its first order for its customer LMP1 chassis, Perrinn, and BR Engineering are all likely to afford privateer options for 2018.

Lotterer, however, said he wanted to see how effectively parity could be achieved between the incoming privateer outfits and Toyota, which appears increasingly likely to commit to the WEC.

He also ruled out joining an LMP2 team, saying he was only interested in an LMP1 drive.

"I would like to continue racing in LMP1," Lotterer told Autosport.

"You hear a lot of private teams are coming. We don't know how they are going to balance it.

"From what I hear they want to balance it in a fair way but of course if Toyota stays, which I guess they will, they will be the favourites.

"If it's a seriously good [private] project for sure I would like to race. But let's see what kind of teams will be on board next year.

"It's not just about participating, it needs to make sense, to be with good team-mates.

"It could also be a transitional year to build something stronger for the future."

LMP1 regulations have not 'gone wrong'

Following the departure of Audi and Porsche, and the difficulty the WEC has had in attracting other manufacturers to take their place, the sustainability of the LMP1 regulations has been questioned.

But Lotterer feels there is nothing inherently wrong with the rules, which are due to be overhauled for 2020, saying the manufacturers themselves wanted complex hybrid technologies on their cars despite the high costs involved.

"I don't think it's something that has gone wrong," said Lotterer

"It's just the decisions of Audi and Porsche to go somewhere else and do other stuff.

"You can argue that it's expensive, but they wanted all that technology. Porsche, Toyota and Audi always got together, their working groups: they want this, this and this technology.

"We all know that things change a bit in the automotive industry and things are going electric. Also, it didn't help what happened to Volkswagen Group [the dieselgate scandal]."

Regarding planned 2018 LMP1 manufacturer regulations that were delayed last year, he added: "It's a shame because they had a bright future. We were expecting three hybrid systems on the cars.

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