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Aston Martin Valkyrie to race at Le Mans

9 months ago

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Writer:

Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder

Date:

4 October 2023

The Valkyrie will race at Le Mans after all, Aston Martin announcing this afternoon it will attempt to win the top category at La Sarthe from 2025 onwards.

You will recall that was the plan for the V12 hypercar all along, until Aston Martin canned the programme early in 2020 after regulators opened the Le Mans Hypercar class up to LMP2-based LMDh machines. This ‘undermined the financial validity’ of the Valkyrie racing project, said Aston.

ASTON MARTIN RETURNS TO LE MANS TO FIGHT FOR OVERALL VICTORY WITH VALKYRIE HYPERCAR 04

But now it’s back on and for the first time since 2011, the British marque will compete with the world’s best for outright victory at Le Mans. Aston Martin last contested the headline category with the disastrous 2011 AMR-One LMP1 machine, before switching its focus to the GTE classes where it scored several victories. Might it add to its single overall win at the world’s greatest endurance race, achieved in 1959, with the Valkyrie?

ASTON MARTIN RETURNS TO LE MANS TO FIGHT FOR OVERALL VICTORY WITH VALKYRIE HYPERCAR 06

Aston will need to overcome competition from grandees like Porsche and Ferrari, plus Toyota, Peugeot, Alpine, Cadillac and others, all campaigning purpose-built Hypercars, to win again. The car is described as a ‘racing prototype version’ of the Valkyrie, derived from the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro. We know the high-revving, Cosworth-built, naturally aspirated V12 will be carried over, with modifications, but the road car’s hybrid system will be dropped, in line with the AMR Pro variant.

Aston Martin Valkyrie Dynamic 35
The Le Mans racer will share its V12 with the road car

Engine aside, we don’t yet know how much the Le Mans machine will share in common with the track car, let alone the version you might spot on the public road, which uses a very different carbon fibre tub and aero package to the AMR Pro. The competition programme will be run by US-based Heart of Racing, which will campaign at least one car in the full World Endurance Championship and North American IMSA series, as well as at Le Mans.

ASTON MARTIN RETURNS TO LE MANS TO FIGHT FOR OVERALL VICTORY WITH VALKYRIE HYPERCAR 08

The car itself will be developed by Aston Martin Performance Technologies, situated at the newly built AMR Technology Campus at Silverstone, also home to the Aston Martin Formula 1 team. The marque will continue to race in GT championships around the world, alongside its ambitious F1 and Le Mans programmes. Will Aston Martin go one better than simply competing and actually win at the highest level? We look forward to finding out.

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