• Tim Fullbrook

Aston Martin could be set for a shock return to the Hypercar class

Conversations with Lawrence Stroll indicate a desire to revive the Valkyrie project in some form

A number of media outlets are publishing rumours that the British marque is seriously considering reigniting their top class Le Mans and WEC programme in the coming years.

Speaking at the launch of the AMR22 F1 car, Aston Martin co-owner Lawrence Stroll is reported to have said “We are in discussions to go back to Le Mans.

“We should be racing in whichever category aligns with the message we are trying to deliver for Aston Martin.” An article on Autocar in addition to an Instagram post from The Intercooler evidence Stroll's interest in reviving the project.

Aston Martin were originally announced alongside Toyota as the first entrants into the category in June 2018.

Less than two years later the Gaydon-based brand confirmed they were ‘pausing’ the initial Valkyrie Hypercar project in February 2020 after a change of heart following ongoing discussions with the WEC and ACO. This decision was the last in a number of back-and-forths with the governing body that resulted in changes to the LMH rules to allow for their V12 Valkyrie engine.

It’s believed they will commit to the LMH regs, following Toyota, Peugeot, Glickenhaus and Ferrari into the ruleset, choosing to avoid the LMDh/GTP route which has been argued as cheaper and more cost-effective.

Aston Martin revealed their Valkyrie AMR Pro Hypercar in June, a track-special targeted at lapping the 8.5-miles of Le Mans in 3m20s, it is believed this car would form the basis for the resurrected programme.

The brand was not represented in full-factory form at the 2021 24h Le Mans for the first time since 2004, following a retraction of the GTE PRO Vantage entry after claiming the class title in 2020.

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