Aston Martin Valkyrie targets LM24 win 14 | 06 | 2019

    ASTON MARTIN HAS confirmed it will fight for overall victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours with its 1160bhp hybrid Valkyrie hypercar. Today’s announcement comes after the decision by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to introduce hypercars to the top category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the 2020/21 season. (Related: Paul di Resta bags seventh on Aston Martin DTM debut)

    Aston Martin will run a minimum of two factory Valkyries in the WEC in the inaugural season of the new category. The news comes on the 60th anniversary of Aston Martin's victory in the 1959 Le Mans with the DBR1 prototype shared by Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby.

    The Valkyrie, a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, produces a combined 1160bhp and 546lb/ft from a Cosworth-developed 6.5-litre V12, plus a 160bhp electric motor from Croatian EV manufacturer Rimac. (Related: 715bhp DBS Superleggera Volante)

    While technical details of the racing Valkyrie remain scarce, Aston has confirmed it will receive a track-prepped variant of the high-revving V12 and retain its distinctive carbonfibre bodywork. In the new WEC regulations, the FIA has implemented a 980kg limit on cars in the new hypercar class; that’s just below the Valkyrie’s estimated one-tonne kerb weight.

    Britain has enjoyed a long romance with the Circuit de la Sarthe. In 2021 it will be 100 years since an Aston Martin first raced at the iconic cFrench circuit. But it’s more than a quarter of a century since a British-built derivative of a road car claimed top honours at Le Mans. Now Aston Martin is set to carry that mantle into the next decade with a bold attempt to win Le Mans and the world championship. (Related: All-electric 602bhp Aston Martin Rapide E)

    Aston Martin Valkyrie, the world’s most extreme road car and platform for this future challenger, is the combined vision of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and Aston Martin VP and Chief Special Operations Officer David King. It was created as a result of a technical collaboration between Aston Martin, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing.

    In line with WEC’s newly confirmed ‘hypercar’ regulations designed to allow race-prepared derivatives of the world’s fastest road cars to fight at the forefront of world sportscar racing, the Aston Martin Valkyrie race car will draw on all the radical pillars of the road car and its track-only AMR Pro variant. (Related: Scots Aston Martin dealer is World No1)

    The new car will feature a race-prepared version of its bespoke high-revving normally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine. Placed within a lightweight carbon fibre structure, and featuring F1 inspired aerodynamic technology, it forms a fully competitive platform capable of challenging for outright race wins.

    “The FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans represent the ultimate challenge for the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the world’s most extreme hypercar,” David King, Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer, said.

    “Designed and built with the purpose of pushing boundaries on the road, it’s natural to conclude that the next stage in its development would be to measure its capabilities on the track. I can think of no better way to do that than to compete in a world championship and the most prestigious and famous race of all.”

    And those views were supported by Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Andy Palmer.

    “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, Palmer said. “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?”

    Related: Aston Martin SUV starts testing

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    Jim McGill


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