Currently reading: Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at Le Mans in 2021
Creation of a new hypercar class enables Aston Martin to enter its 1160bhp hybrid in the 24-hour race

Aston Martin has confirmed that its upcoming Valkyrie hypercar will take part in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. 

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. 

The announcement comes as Gaydon marks the 60th anniversary of its DBR1/300 racer taking first and second place in the 1959 race, while the 2021 event will take place on the centenary of the British brand's first Le Mans entry.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said: “We have always said that we would one day bring Aston Martin back to Le Mans with the intention of going for the outright win when the time was right. Now is that time.” 

It remains to be seen which manufacturers will challenge Aston Martin for victory in the hypercar division, but the McLaren Speedtail and recently revealed Ferrari SF90 Stradale seem obvious candidates for homologation. 

Aston Martin will use this year’s event to display a newly completed DB4 GT Zagato Continuation model, the first of 19, which was hand-built over 4500 hours at the firm’s heritage centre in Newport Pagnell.

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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jason_recliner 14 June 2019

Let's be honest, most car racing sucks

Why not have a category where all road legal cars can race against each other?

Speedraser 12 December 2017

And rather than (potentially)

And rather than (potentially) developing an F1 engine -- if F1 changes the rules to make it less outrageously expensive -- build your own V8 for the road cars rather than using an off-the-shelf someone else's engine!

Speedraser 11 December 2017

I loved watching the Vantage

I loved watching the Vantage and DBR9s race. I get the notion that the prototype category has no relevance. But... Andy P, if that's the case, then how does F1 have relevance to Aston???

Symanski 11 December 2017

You've got him!

Speedraser wrote:

I loved watching the Vantage and DBR9s race. I get the notion that the prototype category has no relevance. But... Andy P, if that's the case, then how does F1 have relevance to Aston???


Couldn't agree more!   Aston Martin shouldn't be wasting money in F1; a series it simply can't afford.


F1 used to be for millionaires to play around.   Max Mosley described it as such, and then corrected himself by saying it's now too rich for them that you need billionaires.   And Aston Martin doesn't even turn £ 20 million profit.


Aston needs to look elsewhere to show off its cars, not just a sticker on the side of a Red Bull that everybody knows is using a Renault engine.   Seriously, has anybody been duped by that one?