WEC: Aston Martin first to confirm Hypercar program
Aston Martin has formally confirmed that it will compete in the FIA WEC’s top class in the 2020/21 season, which includes the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The British marque will enter at least two works non-hybrid Valkyrie race cars for the championship as it bids for overall victory at Le Mans once again in the new Le Mans Hypercar Prototype Class, which will replace LMP1.
The Valkyrie base model is the brand’s most extreme road car, designed by a combination 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.
The new car will feature a race version of the Valkyrie’s bespoke normally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine. Placed within a lightweight carbon fiber 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,” said Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer David King.
“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.”
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO Andy Palmer added: “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.
Aston Martin’s sole outright Le Mans win in 1959, when Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori led a 1-2 in a DBR1. Image by LAT
“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?”
RACER believes that race cars will be built by Multimatic to Newey’s designs.