Aston Martin Is Returning To Le Mans In 2025 With The Valkyrie Hypercar
The British marque previously run endurance racing’s biggest event in 1959.
Aston Martin isn’t about to let Ferrari have all the fun.
The British marque announced on Wednesday that it will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2025. The company is currently hard at work on a competition prototype version of the Valkyrie hypercar that it thinks will have a chance at claiming the chequered flag.
Aston Martin is partnering with Heart of Racing for its return to endurance racing’s biggest stage. The automaker has tasted success at Le Mans in the past. Ray Salvadori and Caroll Shelby—yes, that Carroll Shelby—drove the DBR1/300 to an overall victory in 1959 and cars adorned with the brand’s winged logo have finished atop their class 19 times. The hope is that this latest push will only add to the brand’s list of achievements at the world-famous Circuit de la Sarthe.
The Valkyrie would seem to be the right vehicle for Aston Martin to pin its hopes on. The $5 million hypercar was originally developed to meet LMH hypercar regulations. The race car will use a modified version of the Cosworth-built naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V-12, which in its standard configuration pumps out 986 hp and redlines at 11,000 rpm. The race car’s mill will have a lower output due to FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) parity requirements—the road-spec hybrid system will also be absent—but the vehicle will still pack a serious punch.
“Performance is the lifeblood of everything that we do at Aston Martin, and motorsport is the ultimate expression of this pursuit of excellence,” Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said in a statement.
Aston Martin doesn’t just have its eyes set on glory at Le Mans, though. The prototype Valkyrie race car will also compete at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring in 2025. Those races are part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which will make the Valkyrie the first hypercar inspired by a road car to simultaneously compete in both of endurance racing’s most prestigious series. That also means that, come 2025, Aston Martin will be the only manufacturer competing at all levels of sports car and GT racing, as well as Formula 1.
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