Porsche chose a return to top-flight sports car racing over Formula 1 because it has more relevance to road cars, according to its head of R&D Wolfgang Hatz.
The German marque will enter the top LMP1 sports car racing category in 2014 with hybrid power. Porsche has already said that there has been a technology transfer both ways between the race car and its Porsche 918 Spyder road car that will go on sale later this year as a rival to the Ferrari La Ferrari and McLaren P1.
At the Shanghai motor show, Hatz told Autocar: "We are a sports car company. Porsche has always lived for the transfer of racing to production cars. For that reason it was clear two or three years ago that we had to be back in high-level motorsport, and it was a choice between top-flight sports cars or Formula 1. But the final decision was the only logical one.
"F1 was an alternative, but the road relevance is not there. Also, there is a lot of publicity around politics and tires, but not so much about the engines and chassis. The aero, too, is incredible, but so extreme that it cannot result in any development in our road car understanding."
Mark Webber has been linked to joining Porsche's sports car program in 2014, but last weekend in Bahrain he denied making any decisions about his future.