Aston Martin has confirmed plans to compete for overall victory at Le Mans with a racing version of its Valkyrie hypercar.
The British sports car maker had previously shelved plans to enter the Valkyrie into the new Hypercar category at the iconic 24-hour race. But it now plans to compete for outright victory in 2025.
Entered by U.S. race team Heart of Racing, the Valkyrie will take part in both the FIA World Endurance Championship, which Le Mans is a part of, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which includes the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Valkyrie is set to become the first racer inspired by a road car to simultaneously compete in both of the year’s biggest endurance racing series.
Aston Martin will also compete in the new GT3 and GT4 race categories, and also continue with its eponymous Formula One team.
In going for outright victory at Le Mans, a racing prototype based on the street-legal Valkyrie will compete against Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, BMW, Peugeot, Alpine, Toyota, Vanwall and Cadillac, with the potential for even more teams to join between now and the 2025 season.
Aston Martin says “at least one Valkyrie race car” will compete in the WEC and IMSA championships for the 2025 season, suggesting a second car could also take part.
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.”
The Valkyrie racer will be powered by a modified version of the street car’s Cosworth-built, 6.5-liter V12 engine. As with the track-only Valkyrie AMP Pro currently being built by Aston, the Le Mans racer will ditch the battery and electric hybrid system of the road car.
Unlike other competitors in the hypercar category of the World Endurance Championship, the Valkyrie is a road car modified to race. Other teams, like Ferrari, Porsche and Toyota, compete at Le Mans with purpose-built race cars unrelated to those sitting on their dealership forecourts. Aston Martin has released images depicting a Valkyrie race car, but with 18 months of development ahead of it, it isn’t known yet exactly what the car will look like.
Founded in 2014 by Gabe Newell, The Heart of Racing is a charity that raises money for the Seattle Children’s Cardiology Research Fund, among other causes. The race team has partnered with Aston Martin since it was founded in 2020 and has competed predominantly with the Vantage GT3 car in the GTD class of the IMSA race series. The team made its Le Mans debut this summer and finished seventh in class.
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…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.”