Aston Martin Lagonda said today that is has postponed development of its World Endurance Championship (WEC) Hypercar race entry, following the decision by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) to harmonize the Hypercar class with the so-called LMDh prototype category in the WEC from 2021 and the US-based WeatherTech Sportscar Championship from 2022. This means the oft-hyped Valkyrie Hypercar will not make its WEC debut at Silverstone – home of British racing in August 2020 or compete in the 2021 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer and President of Aston Martin Racing, David King said: “With such momentous change taking place in sportscar racing, the decision to pause our entry into the WEC Hypercar class gives us the time and breathing space to calmly assess the status of the top level of the sport, and our place within it.”
Aston Martin said it “will now pause as it considers whether to continue in any future prototype class. Aston Martin remains open to working with both organizations to find a suitable pathway for any future participation.”
Aston Martin Racing will continue to compete in sportscar racing with its FIA World Endurance Championship-leading Aston Martin Vantage GTE. The Vantage GTE so far in this year’s WEC GTE Pro and Am championships, has four class victories in four races. Aston Martin currently leads the GT Manufacturers’ championship and Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen are top of the Drivers’ standings by 14 points. (WEC Race 4 – Aston Martin Beats Ferrari at 8 Hours of Bahrain, Aston Martin On GTE Pole, Ford 2nd, Corvette 3rd at Le Mans)
The Aston Martin Vantage GTE, based on the expensive road car, is powered by a 4-liter V8 twin-turbocharged engine. It debuted in the first round of 2018/19 WEC Super Season, the 2018 Total 6 Hours of Spa, and since then has collected four GTE Pro class victories, two GTE Am wins and started the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans from the class pole.
Aston Martin Lagonda is poised to re-enter Formula 1 (if shareholders approve the giant expense) next year as a works team for the first time since 1960, when the Racing Point F1 team becomes the Aston Martin F1TM works team.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Andy Palmer said: “Aston Martin’s ambition to compete for the overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans remains undiminished, but it is only right that we reassess our position in light of a significant change in the landscape that was not anticipated when we committed last year. We entered Aston Martin Valkyrie in WEC and at Le Mans with the understanding that we would be competing with similar machinery and like-minded manufacturers.” (part sport of racing and politics of racing here – editor.)
Customer deliveries of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the product of a collaboration between Aston Martin, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing, will commence during the second half of 2020 and Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro deliveries will begin in 2021. The business of marketing racing continues,