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Aston Martin to return to Le Mans 24 Hours in 2025 with Valkyrie LMH

Aston Martin will make its first bid for outright Le Mans 24 Hours since 2011 in 2025 with the Valkyrie Le Mans Hypercar run by the Heart of Racing squad.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

The winner of Le Mans in 1959 has firmed up the plans outlined by Autosport last month to revive the Valkyrie LMH project mothballed early in 2020 for twin assaults on the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

It announced the race programmes starting in 2025 on Wednesday at the AMR Technology Campus at Silverstone that incorporates the new headquarters of the Aston Martin Formula 1 team.

Heart of Racing, which has been partnered with Aston Martin in IMSA since 2020 and WEC since earlier this year, will run at least one Valkyrie in the respective Hypercar and GTP classes of the two championships.

An expanded campaign with the V12-engined Valkyrie, possibly including two cars entered for Le Mans, hasn’t been ruled out.

Aston has become the first manufacturer with an LMH contender to commit to racing against LMDh machinery in the North American IMSA series.

Its last bid for overall victory at Le Mans by Aston came in 2011 with the AMR-One LMP1 car developed by the Prodrive-run Aston Martin Racing set-up.

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 endeavours 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.”

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Photo by: Aston Martin

Heart of Racing team principal Ian James added that it is “a privilege to be able to bring Aston Martin back to the top of endurance racing”.

Aston Martin has resurrected the Valkyrie LMH after three years on the back-burner.

The project to take the Adrian Newey-inspired Valkyrie to Le Mans from 2021 was announced during the week of the French enduro in 2019 before it was shelved the following February.

It has been revived in a slightly different form, however.

Aston originally planned to take advantage of rules that allow a manufacturer to develop an LMH car from the base of a road-going super-sportscar.

The definitive Valkyrie racer will be developed as a pure-bred prototype like its rivals from Toyota, Ferrari and Peugeot in LMH.

This is because the starting point for the latest car is the Valkyrie AMR Pro ultimate track-day vehicle, which was developed out of the original LMH design.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Photo by: Aston Martin

Adam Carter, Aston Martin’s new head of endurance motorsport, told Autosport: “The AMR Pro is essentially a Le Mans Prototype that someone can go and buy and use as a track car — it is a 1000bhp, 1000kg racing car with LMP1 performance.

“We were able to develop the Valkyrie to the prototype rules sub-set because the new race car is based off the AMR Pro, which gives you a number of opportunities.”

The new Valkyrie LMH will be a non-hybrid like the original race design, which did away with the rear-axle energy-retrieval system of the road car.

That means power will come exclusively from a race version of the bespoke 6.5-litre V12 developed for the Valkyrie road car.

The programme will be led from the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies division located at Silverstone together with the new F1 factory under the auspices of Carter.

Multimatic Motorsports, which developed the original LMH as well as the AMR Pro, will remain a key partner in the project.

Aston has said that the AMR Pro will allow a platform for initial testing, with a more definitive car, he said, likely to hit the track “in the earlier part of next year”, according to Carter.

Homologation of the Valkyrie LMH is set for late autumn next year ahead of a race debut at the Daytona 24 Hours IMSA season-opener in January ’25.

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