Aston Martin to re-evaluate its Hypercar Race Programme
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Aston Martin Lagonda has confirmed the rumours surrounding the suspension of its Hypercar Race Programme.
The company confirmed that it has postponed development of its World Endurance Championship (WEC) Hypercar race entry, following the recent decision by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) to harmonise the Hypercar class with the so-called LMDh prototype category in the WEC from 2021 and the US-based WeatherTech Sportscar Championship from 2022.
This decision means that the Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercar will not make its WEC debut at Silverstone in August 2020 or compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Aston Martin will now pause as it considers whether to continue in any future prototype class.
Aston Martin Lagonda is poised to re-enter Formula 1 next year as a works team for the first time since 1960, when the Racing Point F1 team becomes Aston Martin F1 works team. The British sportscar manufacturers’ focus will thus be defined by its activities at the highest level of both single-seater competition and endurance GT racing.
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.
Competing against our closest rivals on the road in GT racing makes perfect sense. Vantage is winning in some of the most fiercely contested sportscar classes in global motorsport, and long may this continue.”
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Andy Palmer said:
“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. 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.
Meanwhile, we’re extremely proud of Vantage and what it is achieving against our most direct competitors. GT racing has always been positioned at the core of what we do, for it bears the closest link to the cars that we build for the road. Both the Vantage road car and the Vantage GTE are borne from the same aluminium body structures that originate in Gaydon. When we win in WEC, it is a victory for Vantage, for our customers, and everyone at Aston Martin Lagonda.”
Customer deliveries of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the product of the unique collaboration between Aston Martin, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing, will commence in H2 2020 and Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro deliveries will commence in 2021.