It seems that Toyota won't be the lone manufacturer looking for a win at the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours under the FIA's new hypercar class. Aston Martin has announced that they will be making their return to top-level racing during the 2020/21 season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the Valkyrie hypercar.
The announcement comes 60 years after Aston Martin achieved their lone overall victory at Le Mans in 1959 with drivers Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby. Since then, the British marque has not really had success in repeating the feat. More recently, the British marque has not really participated in the top-tier LMP1 class. Instead, the automaker has only been running in the LMGTE Am and LMGTE Pro classes using race-spec Vantages. Now, the automaker hopes to be able to repeat their overall Le Mans win in 2021.
“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. David Brown came here in 1959, with a car and a team of drivers capable of winning. We intend to do the same in 2021. The Aston Martin Valkyrie is primed for such a challenge and sits perfectly within the ACO’s new ‘hypercar’ rule framework,” said Aston Martin president and CEO Andy Palmer.
Just like Toyota's challenger, Aston Martin will also be modifying the road-going Valkyrie in line with the FIA's new regulations. Details are still scarce at the moment, but they did say it will use a race-prepped version of the Valkryie's 6.5-liter naturally aspirated engine. They will also be using a 'lightweight' carbon fiber structure' and use F1 aerodynamic technology. If we are to base it off the lone teaser photo, the Valkyrie will also be getting a massive rear wing and a more aggressive front fascia.
Now that Aston Martin and Toyota have confirmed their entry into the 2020/21 season of WEC, we can't wait to see who else will be joining the FIA's new hypercar class.