Aston Martin could fight for outright victories at le Mans once again, if the regulation is rewritten to allow the race modified versions of hypercars such as the Valkyrie competing at the highest level of the sport, CEO Andy Palmer has confirmed.
Speaking to Autocar at the launch of the new Vantage of the road and race cars, Palmer said he had been consulted by the racing of the board of directors, the FIA, over the future rules of racing.
The sport is currently in a state of flux, because Toyota is the only works team confirmed to compete at the high LMP1 levels following the withdrawal of Porsche, Audi and Nissan in recent years. â€œThey were discussing the future of LMP1 and asked me my opinion,â€ said Palmer. â€œFrom my personal point of view is very clear: Aston Martin will never compete in a category prototype, because it has no importance for us. â€œBut if they were allowed to race derivatives of road cars, which would be very interesting for us and, I suspect, the fans.
â€œThe road derived race cars fighting for the victory is in harmony with the history of the sports car and Le Mans racing, and the prospect of the likes of Valkyrie fight against the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and more, would be interesting to more than me, I guess.â€ Asked directly if Aston Martin would be in competition with the Valkyrie if the rules were changed, Palmer said: â€œWatch this spaceâ€.
The Valkyrie is the result of a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, with the technical design, headed by the renowned Formula 1 designer Adrian Newey. The partners have already confirmed that they will be developing a racing version with less weight and more power than the road car for a launch in 2020, even if it is felt that a sports car version of the race should be more extreme still.
The Valkyrie AMR track model, of which only 25 will be made, the costs of more than Â£ 3 million â€“ around 1 million pounds more than the standard of the road Valkyrie â€“ with all the cars already sold. Aston Martin famously won Le Mans outright in 1959, when Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori took the victory of the Aston Martin DBR1.
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