The development of the Aston Martin Hypercar is gaining momentum

By | March 5, 2024

The 2025 Aston Martin Valkyrie FIA ​​WEC and IMSA program is progressing at a rapid pace, with early system testing using a mule car and full track testing coming soon.

The program, which is being worked on by Aston Martin Performance Technologies and the American IMSA and WEC GT3 team Heart of Racing, is running on schedule and will be expanded in the coming weeks.

Heart of Racing team principal Ian James provided more details about the testing program and its objectives to RACER over the weekend, confirming that a “further developed” mule car will soon be ready for AMPT and HoR to use as it gets closer to real-world situation comes. Valkyrie LMH takes to the track for performance and endurance tests.

“We’ve already run a mule car, which is basically an AMR Pro car with some Hypercar calibrations. And in about six weeks we will have a further developed car with more of the Hypercar suspension and control units in it,” he says.

This development follows the Heart of Racing team setting up a base in Brackley, England, next to the Multimatic Motorsports Europe facility. This new design is an important part of the future operation.

“We will be working with Multimatic on some of the operational side of the WEC,” he continues. “I think George Howard-Chapell (Multimatic’s motorsport director) will be involved in the project.

“I have had a relationship with Multimatic for years. I really respect what they do and what Larry (Holt) has accomplished there.

“So we will work closely with them. There is a core group there who were involved in the Ford GT program at Brackley. We will expand that from probably five or six core people to about forty early next year.”

The current Heart of Racing staff includes a number who are committed to delivering the project, in addition to Aston Martin and Multimatic staff working together in the background.

While Heart of Racing oversees all areas, the division of labor was made clear to RACER by James. AMPT is responsible for the design work and Multimatic builds the car on the side.

“We now have our own driver-in-the-loop simulator in Arizona and we put the Valkyrie model on that. We are working on the back end of it, on the technical side,” he says.

“It is truly a joint effort and we will be increasingly involved as the Hypercar officially enters service mid-year.”

When the Valkyrie finally hits the track in fury, it will be almost six years after Aston Martin’s first planned Valkyrie Hypercar program.

So much has changed since Aston Martin’s original announcement: the LMH-specific regulations have been revised, the LMDh-LMH convergence has been announced and achieved and a fleet of manufacturers have since joined the ruleset.

With all that in mind, what will the 2025 non-hybrid LMH Valkyrie, with its race-optimized carbon fiber chassis and modified version of the Cosworth-built 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, look like when it hits the road ? track?

“I think it’s an overall progression (over the original concept),” James explains. “But because the ruleset changed, the aerodynamics had to be redone. We have an AMR Pro and we have driven it for many thousands of kilometers, so we have learned quite a bit from it.

“Multimatic has the test car for the factory. But much of the car was generated in the last six months. The DNA follows what it would originally be, but it is definitely a different animal.

“It (the last race car) will look like a Valkyrie from 100 feet away. It looks like an AMR Pro, but if you look at the details they will be clearly different.

“In terms of performance, the AMR Pro is ridiculous in terms of the downforce and horsepower it has, so we’re not going anywhere near that. With the AMR Pro we do a lot of track days and company days. With a 250-pound passenger and myself riding at one-tenth of its power, we can lap faster than the GTP pole at Laguna Seca. It’s that crazy.”

There is still a lot of work to be done before the car is ready for competition. But James is energized by the project, which Heart of Racing is working on alongside its ambitious two-car GT3 efforts with the new Vantage in the FIA ​​WEC and IMSA.

“This has been a journey for me and I’ve been working on this for the past two years,” says James. “I’m super excited about it, I think the Valkyrie will become a fan favorite wherever it races.”

The goal, James says, is for the Valkyrie to complete “at least 12-15 thousand miles” of track testing before the car competes in the annual IMSA BoP test at Daytona in December.

Also on the to-do list are a visit to the Sauber Wind Tunnel in Switzerland and the Windshear Wind Tunnel in Concord, North Carolina. This is a mandatory step in the homologation process for manufacturers wishing to participate in both championships.

All eyes in the Hypercar and GTP paddocks will be on the progress of the Valkyrie. This is because it will be the first LMH-spec prototype to visit the Windshear factory ahead of next season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship GTP class campaign.

It’s another major milestone for convergence and IMSA knows its ability to balance the car with the current crop of GTP manufacturers will almost certainly be closely watched by the other LMH manufacturers.

Was there any apprehension at Heart of Racing about becoming the first LMH program to take the plunge and run its prototype in GTP?

“There was never any doubt,” says James. “We want to be represented in both championships. We love racing in America, it’s where we started and grew up as Heart of Racing. It is a big undertaking, but I have confidence in the entire process.”

The story originally appeared on Racer

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