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Aston Martin puts Le Mans dream on ice

The road-going Valkyrie will live on, but its race-ready hypercar companion appears dead in the water.
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Aston Martin has put plans to compete in the burgeoning Le Mans Hypercar class on hold, amid rule changes and its recent commitment to Formula 1 for the 2021 season.

The British brand had previously committed to running a racing version of its upcoming Valkyrie hypercar in the new Le Mans Hypercar class.

However it says rule changes from the body that runs Le Mans have forced it to put those plans on hold.

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) will harmonise its Hypercar regulations with those of the US International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), allowing IMSA prototype racers to chase outright glory at Le Mans in 2021.

"Aston Martin will now pause as it considers whether to continue in any future prototype class," the company said in a statement.

"Aston Martin remains open to working with both organisations to find a suitable pathway for any future participation."

Another fact in the decision is Aston Martin's recent commitment to Formula 1.

The recent injection of $967 million in funding from investors led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll saw Aston Martin take a stake in the Racing Point F1 team.

As such, Racing Point will become Aston Martin F1 in 2021. Lawrence Stroll's son, Lance, will be one of the team's drivers.

"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 F1TM team becomes Aston Martin F1TM works team," the company said.

"The British sports car manufacturers’ focus will thus be defined by its activities at the highest level of both single-seater competition and endurance GT racing, for which it has earned a rich pedigree over the past 15 years."