Aston Martin confirmed that starting next year a pair of Valkyries will be on the grid from 2021.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the British manufacturer’s win at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. The timing of the announcement is therefore perfect!
Indeed, in 1959 Aston Martin did a 1-2 finish at the French racing venue with the DBR1, shared by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, taking the win.
Now, for the 2020/2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season, the carmaker will field a minimum of two works Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercars that will be specially developed for the full season.
Not only that but when Aston Martin will be back at Le Mans in 2021 it will mark the 100-year anniversary of them racing there for the first time.
The Valkyries will run a bespoke high-revving normally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is a $3.2M hypercar created by a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing. The road version develops 1,160 hp and weighs around 1,100 kg. The car also features an all-carbon fibre bodywork.
Here’s what they said:
David King, Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer: “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. 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.”
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO: “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. 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?”