Aston Martin plans twin-Valkyrie assault at 2025 Le Mans

Aston Martin on the eve of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans has confirmed it will enter a pair of Valkyrie race cars in next year’s running, subject to being approved entry by the race’s organizers.

The automaker first confirmed a year ago its intention to take the V-12-powered Valkyrie hypercar to Le Mans, originally with a single car only. However the rules have since been changed to require manufacturers to enter a minimum of two cars in the Hypercar class, in which the Valkyrie will compete at Le Mans.

The Hypercar class is the premier class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, whose highlight race is the Le Mans round. Similar to the GTP class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the Hypercar class is open to race cars built to both LMH and LMDh rules. The Valkyrie race car is being developed to meet the LMH rules, and will compete in the full seasons of both the World Endurance and SportsCar Championships.

Aston Martin has teamed with U.S.-based Heart of Racing, which already competes with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the GT classes of the World Endurance and SportsCar Championships. The team was set up to help raise money for the Seattle Children’s Cardiology Research Fund, and is headed by Ian James, a veteran of the former American Le Mans Series.

Ian James

Ian James

Aston Martin has already completed much of the development on the race car as the Valkyrie AMR Pro track car launched in 2021 was originally intended to be a LMH race car ready to compete at Le Mans as early as 2021, though the plan was put on hold in 2020 following the onset of the pandemic. The new car, which will be known as the Valkyrie AMR-LMH, is now being tested at sites like the Silverstone and Portimao racetracks, and will be revealed later this summer.

The Valkyrie AMR-LMH will be a very different beast to the road car. It will feature a unique chassis that’s both longer and wider than the chassis in the road car. It will retain the road car’s 6.5-liter V-12, but feature modifications to meet Balance of Performance rules as well as durability to last the length of a 24-hour race. The mild-hybrid system of the road car will also be removed for the race car.

Aston Martin has previously won outright at Le Mans. That was in 1959, with Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby in an Aston Martin DBR1. Starting in 2025, the automaker will again be chasing outright victory at the French classic.

Aston Martin will also be the only automaker competing in Formula 1 as well as at the top level in the World Endurance and SportsCar Championships. The automaker also plans to retain its current GT racing program.

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