Aston Martin have confirmed they will postpone the development of their FIA World Endurance Championship Le Mans Hypercar entry.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie, which was due to make its WEC debut at the introduction of the LMH class at the end of this year, has had its development postponed as the British manufacturer deliberates it decision to take part in the top end prototype class. The decision has come off the back of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship agreeing that the 2021 top tier cars eligible to enter the American series will also be able to take part in WEC rounds at the highest level (currently LMP1 but soon to be LMH) including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It is also spurred by the recent investment in Aston Martin by Lawrence Stroll who will be bringing the British automotive company back into the elite single-seater series in 2021. The last time an Aston Martin works car was on a Formula One grid was 1960.
Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer and President of Aston Martin Racing, David King said: “With such momentous change taking place in sportscar racing, the decision to pause our entry into the WEC Hypercar class gives us the time and breathing space to calmly assess the status of the top level of the sport, and our place within it.”
“Aston Martin’s ambition to compete for the overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans remains undiminished, but it is only right that we reassess our position in light of a significant change in the landscape that was not anticipated when we committed last year.” Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Andy Palmer added. “We entered Aston Martin Valkyrie in WEC and at Le Mans with the understanding that we would be competing with similar machinery and like-minded manufacturers. The situation has changed and it makes sense for us to pause and reconsider our options.”
The team will provide Aston Martin Valkyries to customers who have ordered them in later this year, as well as providing Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pros to customers in 2021.
Aston Martin Racing have no intentions of leaving the GTE Pro field in WEC, which they are currently leading.