This is the first time a road going car is being prepared to compete in the top Hypercar class. Aston Martin will use a modified version of the road-going Valkyrie which has a Cosworth-built 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine which revs to 11,000 rpm and generates more than 1,000 hp. Unlike the road car, the race version will not have the battery-electric hybrid system. Automobile manufacturers competing in the Hypercar class in the 2023 Le Mans includ Ferrari, Cadillac, Toyota and Peugeot.
“Performance is the lifeblood of everything that we do at Aston Martin, and motorsport is the ultimate expression of this pursuit of excellence.”Lawrence Stroll, Canadian businessman and Executive Chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda
“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.
“In addition to our presence in the FIA Formula 1 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, many of whom found their passion for the brand through our past success at Le Mans,” Stroll went on to say. “And of course, the complex knowledge-base we are building through our F1 team is data that Aston Martin Performance Technologies can harness to further enhance the capabilities of the Valkyrie race car at Le Mans, in WEC and IMSA. Just as the learnings we gain through endurance competition will feed directly into our road car programmes, further improving the ultimate performance of our products. I would like to thank Gabe Newell and Heart of Racing for partnering with Aston Martin on this program, and I look forward to working with him and the team as we aim for success in the greatest endurance race of them all.”
Aston Martin won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans with a DBR1 driven by just two drivers, Roy Salvadori (GBR) and automotive and racing icon, Carroll Shelby (USA). All teams now compete with three driver lineups over the 24 hours of racing. More than 240 drivers have raced Aston Martins at Le Mans over the past 95 years.
“It’s a privilege to be able to bring Aston Martin back to the top of endurance racing with the Heart of Racing,” said Ian James, Team Principal of Heart of Racing. “Our team has grown exponentially since we began racing with those famous wings at Daytona in 2020. We understand and are aligned with the ethos of the brand and we have developed our own systems and technologies to extract the maximum performance of the cars we compete with. Our understanding of Valkyrie is strong and we have worked closely with it through our customer activation programmes for two years now.”
The Heart of Racing is a charity that raises money for worthy causes including the Seattle Children’s Cardiology Research Fund. The Heart of Racing was founded in 2014 by Billionaire Gabe Newell, an American businessman, philanthropist and Co-Founder and President of video game company Valve.
“This HoR team has big ambitions in endurance racing and this is absolutely the right time for us to step into the top classes of WEC and IMSA and challenge for overall honours,” James continued. “This is not an easy target, but between our partners and the support of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, it is one we have all the tools and capabilities in place to hit the bullseye with.”
Photography & Video By Aston Martin