huh?  Aston Martin wants to return to Le Mans after all

huh? Aston Martin wants to return to Le Mans after all

After a long and difficult development period, ACO finally came up with a replacement for last year’s expensive LMP1 hybrids: the Le Mans Hypercar. However, due to frequent changes in the rules and poor communication from the organization, only two brands entered the new class.

Toyota and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus took the three-year-old Rebellion LMP1 with Alpine decals. LMH’s impressive debut was accentuated by the fact that the LMP2 initially seemed quick, despite the power cut. After several fixes to solve the problem, the Grand Toyota Show can still start.

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Back to GT1

The troubled birth of LMH was largely caused by Aston Martin. Along with Toyota, SCG and ByKolles, the brand was one of the first brands to join the class. At the time, however, there was still talk of a return to the GT1 era, with heavily modified road cars.

AMR put forward the extreme Valkyrie as a candidate, but was not satisfied with the power limit set by the FIA. After all, the Valkyrie’s 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 couldn’t be squeezed enough to the limit.

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Chaos and AMR

At the request of Aston Martin, the maximum power was increased to 950 hp. Shortly after, however, the brand left due to financial problems. Then the maximum power was adjusted twice from 950 to 784 and finally 670 hp.

In the chaos, the small SCG was forced to cancel the agreement with Alfa Romeo and build a completely new engine with a limit of 950 hp, which in the end turned out to be an expensive and completely pointless move. The Valkyrie Le Mans racer was eventually released as an AMR Pro track special. Shortly thereafter, the Vantage LMGTE program was also suspended.

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However back

Now that Aston Martin has got everything on the line, CEO Lawrence Stroll wants to return to the same discipline that Aston Martin left behind in its management. At the presentation of the new AMR22 F1 car, the Canadian opened up about Aston Martin Racing’s future plans. The division of motorsport should also be seen outside of F1:

“Of course we plan to return to racing outside of F1. We didn’t stop racing in GT3 and GT4 and we won Le Mans two years ago. [in LMGTE]† The program will be continued and expanded. Now that I have established Aston Martin Performance Technologies as a division of the F1 team, it will be more involved in the development of our intermediate program. We are also in talks to return to Le Mans.”

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In what category Stroll wants to compete again is not yet known, but a new GT plan is not expected. Considering the mid-engine models, joining the LMH or even the cheaper LMDh seems to be the best option. Valkyrie will not be part of this due to the power limit.

The LMDh with the AMG twin turbo V8 from the Valhalla model by Aston Martin is the most obvious, cheapest and easiest solution. Knowing Stroll, however, the prestige of the new F1 factory built Le Mans Hypercar will be a tempting option for him, despite the additional cost. He did not make a firm statement about how, in what and when:

“We’re not there yet, I’m a runner myself, I’ve been there all my life, running is in my blood, that’s why I’m here. Aston Martin shines.”

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fierce battle

If it achieves that, AMR will have to compete with a record number of car brands at Le Mans. Toyota, Alpine, Peugeot, Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, BMW and Cadillac all have LMH or LMDh on tap. By 2025 it will be clear if we will really see a record number of manufacturers on the famous French road circuit.