Text: Rick Kiewiet
Images: Aston Martin, Rick Kiewiet
In a press release today Aston Martin confirmed its entry into both the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship from 2025 and thereby its return to the 24 hours of Le Mans. Heart of Racing, which already runs the Vantage GTE in both WEC and IMSA, will run at least one Valkyrie in both championships. Multimatic, who was one of the developing partners of the original Valkyrie track and road car, will also be involved in developing and adjusting the Valkyrie to the current Hypercar regulations.
Aston Martin competed at the 24 hours of Le Mans since the earliest days and won the race once, in 1959. Now, besides being active in the top-tier of single-seater racing in Formula 1, it will also enter the highest class of endurance racing. Some cross-pollination might very well be and option as the Endurance team is housed in the same factory as the F1 team, could the endurance team profit from the brands' knowledge in F1?
Another question to be asked: might this also pave the way for a return of Fernando Alonso the WEC and/or IMSA? It's only a small step for the 42-year-old Spanish two times F1 World Champion and overall winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2018 and 2019, to spearhead the driver line-up in the French Endurance classic.
The Valkyrie, which was already developed to meet the new Hypercar regulations, will run without the hybrid system the road car features, but with the 6.5l Cosworth V12, producing more than 1000 bhp. Notably, the Valkyrie will be the only Hypercar that finds its origin in a road car.