Aston Martin will return to Le Mans in 2025 with Valkyrie hypercar

It's for real this time, we swear! Well, Aston Martin does, anyway. That's right: The British automaker officially announced Wednesday that it will run a racing prototype of its Valkyrie in the Hypercar class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2025 — alongside a return to the highest tiers of endurance racing. In partnership with Heart of Racing, Aston Martin says at least one Valkyrie race car will be entered in the top Hypercar class of both the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships (IMSA) from 2025. This means the Valkyrie will also compete in the Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring. 

"We have been present at Le Mans since the earliest days," said Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda. "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."

Per Aston Martin, more than 240 drivers have represented the brand at Le Mans over the course of the company's 95-year history. And 19 of its cars have clinched class victories, but only once has the marque taken the top spot on the overall podium: Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby did it in 1959 with the DBR1. 

Aston says the Valkyrie AMR Pro was originally developed to meet LMH hypercar class regulations, signaling the automaker's focus on motorsport's premier race. Now, Aston Martin Performance Technologies has to put together competition prototype Valkyries for racing within WEC's parameters. Once that's done, the final prototypes will be homologated for the WEC Hypercar and IMSA GTP classes ahead of the 2025 season.

The company also took the opportunity to announce that it will campaign all-new GT3 and GT4 cars based on the Vantage platform; these will conform to all existing and new GT rule-sets, including the new-for-2024 LMGT3 regulations that replace the outgoing GTE class in WEC. Aston expects these new cars to compete in WEC, IMSA and SRO-run GT World Challenge Series in the hands of customer teams, who will be able to purchase the new GTs in time for the 2024 season. 

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