Motorsport

Aston Martin will contest Le Mans in 2025 with V12 Valkyrie

by Steven Cole Smith
5 October 2023 2 min read
Aston Martin will contest Le Mans in 2025 with V12 Valkyrie
Images: Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s racing prototype version of the £2.5M Valkyrie road car will enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring in 2025, fighting for overall victory in the Hypercar class.

With the support of US-based Heart of Racing, Aston Martin’s championship-winning endurance racing partner, “at least one Valkyrie race car will be entered by Aston Martin in the top Hypercar class of each of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2025. This means that the prototype Valkyrie will participate in three of sports car racing’s most prestigious events; Le Mans, the Rolex 24 and the 12 Hours of Sebring,” the company announced.

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Aston Martin Le Mans Return Valkyrie race car top

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 endeavors 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,” Stroll said.

Aston Martin Le Mans Return Valkyrie race car side

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,” the company said.

The racing version of the carbon fibre-chassis Valkyrie will use a modified version of its Cosworth-built 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, which in standard form revs to 11,000rpm and develops over 1,000bhp. The power unit will be modified to fit the Balance of Performance requirements of the Hypercar class and developed to withstand the rigors of long-distance competition. As in the Valkyrie AMR Pro track car, the battery-electric hybrid system featured on the road-specification Valkyrie is absent.

The Balance of Performance is a formula used by IMSA and WEC to level the playing field, so that Hypercars and GTP cars, which differ in specifications, can compete against each other in the two series.

Aston Martin Le Mans Return Valkyrie race car rear

“Once homologated, the Heart of Racing team will spearhead Aston Martin’s programs 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,” the company said.

Founded in 2014 by American businessman and philanthropist Gabe Newell, the Heart of Racing team is a charity that raises money for the Seattle Children’s Cardiology Research Fund. The team was conceived in 2020 and has partnered with Aston Martin since its inception, competing predominantly with the successful Vantage GT3 in IMSA’s two GTD classes.

The driver lineup will be announced at a later date.

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