Aston Martin Returns to Le Mans to Fight for Overall Victory with Valkyrie Hypercar
Wednesday 4 October 2023, Silverstone, UK: A racing prototype version of the ultimate hypercar, the Aston Martin Valkyrie, will take on the challenge it was born for when it carries Aston Martin into the fight for overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, from 2025.
Through the invaluable support and backing of Aston Martin’s championship-winning endurance racing partner Heart of Racing [HoR], at least one Valkyrie racecar will be entered by Aston Martin in the top Hypercar class of each of the FIA World Endurance Championship [WEC] and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships [IMSA] from 2025. This means that the prototype Valkyrie will participate in three of sportscar racing’s most prestigious events; Le Mans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda, said:
“Performance is the lifeblood of everything that we do at Aston Martin, and motorsport is the ultimate expression of this pursuit of excellence.
“We have been present at Le Mans since the earliest days, and through those glorious endeavours we succeeded in winning Le Mans in 1959 and our class 19 times over the past 95 years. Now we return to the scene of those first triumphs aiming to write new history with a racing prototype inspired by the fastest production car Aston Martin has ever built.
“In addition to our presence in the FIA Formula 1® World Championship, Aston Martin’s return to the pinnacle of endurance racing will allow us to build a deeper connection with our customers and community, many of whom found their passion for the brand through our past success at Le Mans.”
In total, more than 240 drivers have raced Aston Martins at Le Mans over the past 95 years in 27 different chassis and engine combinations, through virtually every era. No other venue has given Aston Martin so much success, or more steadfastly proven that our DNA is forged out of the very essence of competition. So in the year the marque celebrates its 110th anniversary, it makes perfect sense to announce its return to the greatest endurance race on earth with the ultimate expression of the most potent hypercar ever devised.
Once homologated, the Heart of Racing team will spearhead Aston Martin’s programmes in both WEC and IMSA as the Valkyrie race car becomes the first purebred hypercar to participate in both championships, and the only one among its rivals that can trace its origins back to an existing production car.
Ian James, Team Principal of Heart of Racing, said:
“It’s a privilege to be able to bring Aston Martin back to the top of endurance racing with the Heart of Racing.
“Our team has grown exponentially since we began racing with those famous wings at Daytona in 2020. We understand and are aligned with the ethos of the brand and we have developed our own systems and technologies to extract the maximum performance of the cars we compete with. Our understanding of Valkyrie is strong and we have worked closely with it through our customer activation programmes for two years now.”
Aston Martin’s entry into the Hypercar class ensures that the British ultra-luxury sportscar manufacturer will have a presence in all aspects of endurance racing from the gentleman racer through to the very pinnacle of the sport. Indeed, from 2025, Aston Martin will be the only manufacturer competing at all levels of sportscar and GT racing (from Hypercar to GT4) and the FIA Formula 1® World Championship.
This is made possible through an additional announcement today of Aston Martin’s commitment to building and preparing all-new GT3 and GT4 cars, based on the Vantage platform, which will conform to all existing and new GT rule-sets, including the new-for-2024 LMGT3 regulations that replace the outgoing GTE class in WEC.
This new GT challenger, which is expected to compete in WEC, IMSA and SRO-run GT World Challenge Series as well as various internationally-based regional championships, will be available for existing Aston Martin Racing partners and prospective customers to purchase and compete with for the beginning of the 2024 racing season.