Aston Martin has announced their intention to once again compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Le Mans.
When the Automobile Club de l’Ouest made the decision to allow hypercars to the top category of FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), it opened up new opportunities, allowing race-prepared derivatives of some of the world’s fastest road cars to compete.
So on the Eve of the 60th anniversary of Aston Martin’s glorious 1959 24 hour Le Mans win, Aston Martin announced its intention to fight for the title once again in 2021; exactly one hundred years since Aston Martin first raced at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
There is a long tradition of British-built road cars competing at Le Mans, and Aston Martin is set to carry the mantle into the next decade. Their intention to enter at least two specially-developed Valkyrie hypercars is Aston Martin's boldest move yet to take back the Le Mans title.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Andy Palmer has said of the announcement:
“We have always said that we would one day bring Aston Martin back to Le Mans with the intention of going for the outright win when the time was right – now is that time. David Brown came here in 1959, with a car and a team of drivers capable of winning. We intend to do the same in 2021. The Aston Martin Valkyrie is primed for such a challenge and sits perfectly within the ACO’s new ‘hypercar’ rule framework. Bringing to bear all of our previous experience and knowledge of competing at the top levels of motorsport, we embark on this most ambitious project with the necessary ingredients for success. What could be more evocative than the wail of an Aston Martin V12 leading the charge into the night on the Mulsanne straight? ”
The Valkyrie is the world’s most extreme road car and is the combined vision of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey, EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman and VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, David King.
In line with WEC’s new ‘hypercar’ regulations, the Aston Martin Valkyrie race car will draw on all the radical pillars of the road car and its track-only AMR pro variant.
The race-prepared Valkyrie will also feature a bespoke high-revving normally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine. This will be placed in a lightweight carbon fibre structure with features drawn from F1's aerodynamic technology, for exceptional dynamics and handling.