Porsche Motorsport head Fritz Enzinger is stepping down after leading the operation since 2011, to be replaced by Thomas Laudenbach, who takes over the reins at the start of October.
“We cannot thank Fritz Enzinger enough for his enormously successful work over the past 10 years. He shaped an era at Porsche Motorsport that led us to incredible triumphs and title wins,” commented Michael Steiner, member of the executive board for research and development at Porsche.
“Motorsport has played a very special role in Porsche’s corporate strategy. We’ve always used the racing platform as a test laboratory for the latest technologies,” he continued. “Thomas Laudenbach has everything it takes to successfully continue on this path. We look forward to the future of motorsport, in which we want to take an active role in shaping. The Mission R concept presented at the IAA Mobility showcases an exciting preview of what’s to come.”
Enzinger spearheaded the company’s successful LMP1 program with the 919 Hybrid, securing three overall victories at the Le Mans 24 Hours between 2014 and 2017, as well as winning a total of six world championship titles in three consecutive years.
Under Enzinger’s direction, the sports car manufacturer also tackled the FIA Formula E World Championship, and won the titles in the North America IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) in the fiercely contested GTLM class with the 911 RSR.
“I look back on what we’ve achieved together with pride and gratitude,” said Fritz Enzinger. “It was an incredibly intense time. The development of the LMP1 program, the hat-trick at Le Mans and the world championship titles with the 919 Hybrid, the title wins with the 911 RSR, our entry into Formula E and the preparation of our LMDh engagements from 2023 onwards have demanded fortitude and focus from us all. Such successes are always the result of excellent teamwork. My greatest respect and thanks go out to everyone who contributed to this – in the cockpit, on the racetrack, in Weissach, Flacht and Zuffenhausen.”
Laudenbach joined Porsche in 1998 and headed up development of a host projects including the 918 Spyder. He moved to sister company Audi in 2013, where he was responsible for the development of energy storage and electronics systems on the R18 LMP1 cars as well as the company’s Formula E efforts.
“I’m thrilled about the trust that’s been placed in me and excited about the tasks ahead,” commented Laudenbach. “The big goal is to build on the great successes that have been achieved under the direction of Fritz Enzinger. It’s a wonderful challenge. We will adapt motorsport to the changed conditions in the automotive industry – from customer racing to factory involvement in the major racing series around the globe.
“We have our sights firmly set on claiming our 20th Le Mans victory, we want to win world championships – both in endurance racing and in Formula E. It’s also important to continue developing our customer racing. With the Mission R concept study, we are showing how attractive this can look.”