WEC / Le Mans

Aston Martin returns to Le Mans with two Valkyrie LMH hypercars in 2025

24 Heures du Mans
14 Jun. 2024 • 12:10
Photo : Aston Martin

Aston Martin and works team Heart of Racing will return to the top class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two Valkyrie AMR-LMH hypercars in 2025, as the ultra-luxury British sportscar brand bids to win the famous race outright for the first time since 1959.


Aston Martin intends to enter two of the Valkyrie AMR-LMH hypercars in all rounds of the 2025 FIA World Endurance Championship [WEC], subject to its entry being accepted. This follows a regulation change by Le Mans event organiser 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. The new rule was announced earlier this morning during the official press conference ahead of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race.


Aston Martin and its works partner Heart of Racing are delighted to support this change in the regulations, in the interests of working together to improve the sporting environment for the benefit of all. Aston Martin will continue to work closely with both organisations moving forward and through the duration of the Valkyrie AMR-LMH programme.


Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport, said: “You can trace the roots of Aston Martin’s endurance racing back to the earliest days of the brand. Indeed we first raced at Le Mans more than 95 years ago – something no other road-going hypercar manufacturer can say. We are very proud of our association with this wonderful event, and with that in mind, it’s very clear that we are committed to WEC’s hypercar concept and bringing our famous Wings back to the very forefront of international sportscar racing, including at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2025, with our works team the Heart of Racing, we intend to put two Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR-LMH hypercars on the grid, to compete alongside a fantastic array of the world’s best sportscar manufacturers, and we are doing all we can to ensure that we can fight at the front of that space. The Valkyrie AMR-LMH programme 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. 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.”


The race-optimised carbon-fibre chassis Valkyrie AMR-LMH will use a modified version of the sensational Cosworth-built 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine originally produced for the Valkyrie road car, which in standard form revs to 11,000rpm and develops over 1000bhp. The power unit is being enhanced further to incorporate the critical Balance of Performance requirements of the Hypercar class and developed to withstand the rigours of top level long-distance competition. As with the Valkyrie AMR Pro track-car, the battery-electric hybrid system that features on the road-specification Valkyrie is absent from the race car.


Development of the Valkyrie AMR-LMH is already well advanced, with recent on-track evaluation of integral systems having taken place at Aston Martin’s Silverstone testing facility and the Portimao circuit in Portugal.


Heart of Racing also recently established a UK team headquarters for its WEC programme, near where the racing cars are being constructed in co-operation with Aston Martin Performance Technologies, based at Silverstone, which is overseeing the design and development of the Valkyrie AMR-LMH.


Aston Martin with Heart of Racing also plans an IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Programme for the Valkyrie AMR-LMH, to run the US-based endurance series’ GTP class. This will be run out of Heart of Racing’s Phoenix HQ in North America.


“With this new direction of the WEC ruleset we have had to bring forward our plans to run multiple cars in the WEC Hypercar class. This has obviously condensed our build-up process, but we are very excited about the prospect of having two cars in the field. 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.


Aston Martin’s entry into the Hypercar class ensures that the British ultra-luxury sportscar manufacturer will have a presence in all aspects of endurance racing from the gentleman racer through to the very pinnacle of the sport. Indeed, from 2025, Aston Martin will be the only manufacturer competing at all levels of sportscar and GT racing (from Hypercar to GT4) and the FIA Formula 1® World Championship.


In total, more than 240 drivers have raced Aston Martins at Le Mans over the past 95 years in 27 different chassis and engine combinations, through virtually every era. No other venue has given Aston Martin so much success, or more steadfastly proven that our DNA is forged out of the very essence of competition.


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