Insight: How Aston's Valkyrie LMH Program Was Revived
Many things have changed since the original iteration of the Aston Martin Valkyrie LMH program was put on ice in early 2020…
When Aston Martin stated in February 2020 that it had put its Valkyrie LMH program on “pause” it felt more like a permanent cancellation. The company was wading through financial troubles and its new executive chairman Lawrence Stroll was pushing Formula 1 as the new sporting direction. It had come to be accepted as one of the great ‘what ifs’ of sports car racing.
However, just over three and a half years later, that “pause” line turned out to be true as Aston Martin and American team The Heart of Racing confirmed plans to enter the 2025 FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship seasons with a Valkyrie.
Or it might have been a neat coincidence, because so many things have changed during Aston Martin’s hibernation from LMH activity.
Aston Martin has evolved as a company under Stroll’s leadership and there have been personnel changes at the top of its sports car racing department. The LMH project is now transatlantic in nature, rather than being WEC-focused. And, most notably, The Heart of Racing wasn’t in the frame for the original WEC effort but has been an integral part of getting it back on track, after four years of strong results as an Aston Martin customer GT team.
The Heart of Racing is owned by Gabe Newell, a tech billionaire best-known for being the founder and president of video game developer Valve. His team is understood to have contributed to reviving the Valkyrie effort and that is reflected in its autonomy over trackside operations and driver selection.
Aston Martin is taking the lead on background technical work, developing the car for LMH homologation, and is utilizing its stature as a historic Le Mans brand to help drive the project’s marketing reach.