In a groundbreaking announcement made on Wednesday, British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin communicated its intention to compete for top honours in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race from 2025 onwards. This ambition is set to be fulfilled with a racing prototype of Aston Martin’s hypercar, Valkyrie.
The legendary carmaker will collaborate with endurance racing partner Heart of Racing. They plan to register at least one Valkyrie to compete in the hypercar category of two renowned competitions, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the U.S.-based IMSA Sports Car Championship.
These Championships consist of iconic races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona 24 Hours, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Aston Martin holds a long-standing affinity for Le Mans right from its inception. Lawrence Stroll, the executive chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda, confirmed this in his statement.
“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,” stated Lawrence Stroll. “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.”
Stroll further added, “In addition to our presence in the FIA Formula One world championship, Aston Martin‘s return to the pinnacle of endurance racing will allow us to build a deeper connection with our customers and community.” This statement coincides with the 110th anniversary celebrations of Aston Martin, a brand famously associated with the fictional British spy, James Bond.
The Valkyrie, a noteworthy creation of Red Bull designer Adrian Newey, boasts of being a road-legal model resembling a Formula One car. The luxury behemoth, under its former management, announced this limited edition model whose price starts from a staggering £2 million. Lawrence Stroll, who also owns Aston Martin‘s Silverstone-based Formula One team, revealed during a Reuters interview that the remaining Valkyrie cars’ delivery process will wrap up next year.
The endurance program, expected to intensify with the involvement of the Valkyrie, will be primarily financed by Heart of Racing. Aston Martin will contribute to the program through technical know-how being offered by its Performance Technologies company.
Stroll hinted at the possibility of Spain’s Fernando Alonso, two-time Le Mans winner and former world champion, participating in the Le Mans event in 2025. Stroll remained tight-lipped but hinted “anything’s possible”. Aston Martin plans to launch new GT3 and GT4 cars, earmarked for production by Aston Martin Performance Technologies in early 2023.
The Yew Tree Consortium, a Canadian group helmed by Stroll, recently increased their investment in the British luxury automaker by 3.27%, taking their stake to a cool 26.23%. Commenting on this move, Stroll said, “There was a great opportunity, an investor looking to sell a block of shares. I have great belief that the shares are severely under-valued, and this company will be worth a great deal more than it is today in the coming years.”