Aston Martin is set to return to the world’s premier endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a prototype Valkyrie hypercar in 2025. The return to Le Mans also marks the brand joining the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC ) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Often talked about in hushed tones by people in the know, the idea of Aston Martin’s halo hypercar entering the upper plane of motorsport endurance has long been longed for, and the company’s announcement is sure to make racing fans happy. The Gaydon, UK, company intends to enter at least one Valkyrie in both WEC and IMSA from 2025, giving itself the opportunity to take the top step at Le Mans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
The basis for the competition car is set to be the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, an even more extreme version of the already raucous Valkyrie road car. The car with license plates boasts a Cosworth-developed 6.5-liter V12 packing 1,000 hp (745 kW), matched to a 160 hp (120 kW) electric motor, giving it an F1-style kinetic recovery system. Its hybrid configuration makes it a ferocious sound.
For those looking to keep their Valkyrie on the track alone, the AMR Pro is the one to go for. The AMR Pro does without hybrid assistance but has small 18-inch wheels (the size required by the racing rules), Michelin Le Mans Racing tires, F1-inspired carbon brakes, Wilder aero, and no creature has comfort in it. Aston Martin says the Valkyrie AMR Pro was always intended for Hypercar racing—even if that was a PR stunt, you can see how the company found it easy to use as the basis for an affordable race car.
Aston Martin says it will “enhance” the Valkyrie’s power unit to ensure it meets the punishing balance of performance demands demanded by the Hypercar class. This would mean that the peak power of the thunderous V12 has to be taken up a peg or two, since the maximum output power is 670 hp (500 kW). A device with less stress should prove reliable, at least. (Shades of McLaren having to ditch the F1 engine for the F1 GTR in 1995 – Ed.)
To manage the cars, Aston Martin also partnered with Heart of Racing, a team founded by Valve’s Gabe Newell. Heart of Racing has been working with Aston Martin since its 2020 debut—mostly with GT3-spec Vantages in the IMSA GTD classes. The Valkyrie will be another string to the already successful sky, having already won the IMSA GTD class championship in 2022. Ian James, the director of the Heart of Racing team, is excited about the proposal of the Valkyrie campaign. “Having a hypercar option with Valkyrie, the ultimate car, and to go to Le Mans and all the other races around the world… it’s an opportunity we can’t miss,” he said.
Valkyrie will not have hybrid or turbo assistance, which some of its competitors are able to. James didn’t think it would be a problem. “Hybrid systems are complex applications and a source of struggle for competitors,” he said. “The V12 is a proven architecture, and will be pushed to about 700 hp down the range. Reliability shouldn’t be an issue. Non-hybrid cars are small systems. I’m not sure what what. resources they have, but we will be better prepared.”
Entering the highest plane of endurance motorsport means that from 2025, Aston Martin will be the only manufacturer to compete in all levels of sports car and GT racing, as well as Formula One (Ferrari does not stop at as small as GT4 racing). From wealthy dentists upwards, Aston has its motorsport back.