Aston Martin is more likely to race the successor to its Valkyrie and not the Valkyrie itself in the so-called Hypercar class (a name is yet to be selected) that will replace LMP1 as the premier class of the World Endurance Championship, and thus the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well.
The news was revealed by Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer in an interview with Autocar published Monday.
The Valkyrie successor will be at a similar level to hypercars like the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 so not technically a direct replacement to the Valkyrie, which is why Aston Martin refers to the car as the “son” or “brother” of Valkyrie. It will still be a limited-edition model with a seven-figure price tag, however. And just like the Valkyrie it will be developed in partnership with the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team.
The Valkyrie successor is due to be revealed at roughly the same time the new regulations for WEC come into play, currently scheduled for the 2020/2021 season. Considering that the Valkyrie is sold out and will likely be winding up production by then, racing its successor makes a lot more sense. Note, this is a different car to the Ferrari 488 and McLaren 720S rival that Aston Martin will launch in 2020.
Palmer stressed that no decision to enter WEC's top class has been made yet. Aston Martin currently competes in the series' GT classes designed for production-based cars and will only join the new Hypercars class if organizers can reduce costs compared to current LMP1 rules. The class won't feature production-based cars but prototype race cars designed to resemble road car counterparts.
“I’m hesitant to confirm we will race at Le Mans before the final regulations have been confirmed, because our experiences in Formula 1 have taught us that in motorsport ideas that begin optimistically can ebb away,” Palmer told Autocar. “But we have a great deal of interest in the new regulations at Le Mans.”