Aston Martin Doubles Down on Plans for Le Mans 2025

by Steven Cole Smith
24 June 2024 2 min read
Aston Martin Doubles Down on Plans for Le Mans 2025
(Aston Martin)

As we reported in October 2023, Aston Martin announced then that it would be competing in the top Hypercar class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2025 with a prototype version of its road-going Valkyrie supercar, run by its partner team, Heart of Racing.

Now, Aston Martin has literally doubled down on that announcement, saying in a press conference the day before the 2024 version of the 24 Hours of Le Mans that next year it will enter two Valkyries in the World Endurance Championship, which includes Le Mans.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie road car front 3/4
(Drew Gibson/Aston Martin)

Really, they had no choice. “This follows a regulation change by Le Mans event organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest [ACO] and the sport’s governing body the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile [FIA], stating that each participating manufacturer must enter at least two cars in the Hypercar class from 2025 onwards,” said Aston Martin’s announcement. 

The mandatory requirement to enter two cars is quite Formula 1–like, as it’s written into the F1 rules that no team can enter more or less than two cars. Aston said that it would also participate in the US-based IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, which includes the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, but it didn’t mention how many Valkyries it would bring. A one-car team seems more likely than two for IMSA. Driver announcements will come later.

“The Valkyrie AMR-LMH program is on schedule with a significant amount of development taking place behind the scenes and ahead of the car’s track debut later this summer,” said Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport. “We then anticipate an intensive period of testing to put miles on the car and learn all we can ahead of its planned homologation in the autumn.” This will give Aston Martin a shot at an overall Le Mans victory, which they haven’t had since 1959.

Aston Martin Valkyrie head on

The carbon-fibre chassis for the new Valkyrie AMR-LMH race car will be powered by a modified version of the Cosworth-built, 6.5-litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine originally produced for the £2 million Valkyrie road car, which in standard form revs to 11,000rpm and develops nearly 1000 brake horsepower. In race form, the engine’s horsepower will be considerably less. The race car, unlike the Valkyrie road car, will not use a battery-electric hybrid system.

Heart of Racing, the American-owned team that will be racing the Valkyries, recently established a British headquarters for its WEC program, close to where the race cars are being built at Aston Martin Performance Technologies, which is overseeing the design and development of the Valkyrie AMR-LMH. The IMSA effort will be run out of Heart of Racing’s shop in Phoenix, Arizona.

“We will be proud to be a part of this class, which has seen a meteoric rise in the past couple of years, and offers amazing racing and fan interaction. The challenge ahead is immense, and we are looking forward to the journey,” said Heart of Racing team principal Ian James.

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