Today, before the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, Aston Martin has announced it will be returning to the top level of sports-car racing with its V-12-powered Valkyrie hypercar. The car will fall under the World Endurance Championship’s new “hypercar” regulations, which allows racing variants of new road cars to compete at the top level of endurance racing.
Aston, which made the announcement on the 60th anniversary of its first and only Le Mans win, says it will field at least two Valkyries in the 2020-2021 WEC super season, which includes the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“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,” said Aston CEO Andy Palmer in a statement. “David Brown came [to Le Mans] in 1959, with a car and a team of drivers capable of winning. We intend to do the same in 2021.”
Like the Valkyrie road car, the racing version will feature a carbon fiber monocoque, Formula 1-derived tech, and a naturally aspirated V-12 engine. Whether it will incorporate the road car’s hybrid tech has yet to be revealed. The FIA says hybrid systems aren’t mandatory for the class, though if a car does run one, it will have to be positioned in the same spot as the road-going version.
“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,” Palmer continued. “What could be more evocative than the wail of an Aston Martin V-12 leading the charge into the night on the Mulsanne straight?”
Not much, Andy. Not much.
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