New rules put in place by Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Le Mans’ governing body, effectively replace the top-rung LMP1 category, a field in which Toyota’s Gazoo Racing has been the only factory-backed team since the departures of Porsche and Audi, with a new ‘hypercar’ class.
Aston Martin, along with McLaren and Ferrari, had been campaigning for race-prepared versions of roadgoing hypercars to be allowed to participate in the famous endurance race, with the vision that such a category would make it more affordable for manufacturers to partake and thus encourage more works teams.
The new regulations allow the bodywork of competing cars to take more obvious brand design cues, meaning they will more closely resemble their production counterparts.
Active aerodynamics will also be permitted, because such technology has started to become more relevant to roadgoing vehicles.
Aston Martin says at least two Valkyries will be specially developed for entry into the 2020/21 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Valkyrie, a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, produces a combined 1160bhp and 546lb ft from a Cosworth-developed 6.5-litre V12 and a 160bhp electric motor supplied by British firm Integral Powertrain. The battery system is from Croatian EV manufacturer Rimac.
Technical details of the racing Valkyrie remain scarce, but Aston has confirmed that it will receive a track-prepped variant of the high-revving V12 and retain its distinctive carbonfibre bodywork. The FIA has implemented a 980kg limit on cars in the new hypercar class – just below the Valkyrie’s estimated one-tonne kerb weight.