Aston Martin is discussing plans to return to top-level sports car racing, specifically in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the automaker's chairman, Lawrence Stroll, told Autocar during Thursday's reveal of the Aston Martin Formula One team's 2022 race car.
“We’ve never stopped racing in GT3 and GT4, and we won [the GTE Pro class at] Le Mans two years ago,” he said. “That program will continue and be enhanced.”
Stroll didn't say what category any enhanced sports car racing program would entail, stating only that the chosen category must align with the “message” Aston Martin is trying to deliver. He also didn't say when the enhanced program would happen.
Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro
Autocar suspects that the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) route would be the most likely. LMH is the top category alongside Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh), and was originally due to see Aston Martin compete with a race car based on the Valkyrie hypercar, though Aston Martin canceled the program in 2020. Some of the designs for the Valkyrie LMH racer have been used by Aston Martin for its track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro hypercar.
Aston Martin rival, Ferrari, is set to compete in LMH from 2023, along with Peugeot and existing LMH contenders Toyota and Glickenhaus.
Aston Martin has previously won sports car racing's premier event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, outright. That was back in 1959, with Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby in an Aston Martin DBR1.