Test launch nears for Aston Martin Valkyrie LMH

The Aston Martin Valkyrie LMH is set to begin track testing within the next few weeks, in preparation for a planned race debut at the 2025 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Adam Carter, the head of endurance motorsport at Aston Martin, confirmed that the test program is on schedule.

“Since we last spoke to reporters at Daytona, we said we would go with a mule car and test,” he said. “We’ve done that and completed the work we wanted to complete with the mule car (an AMR Pro with some Hypercar calibrations). That’s all but finished, but we may choose to do some system tests. But that would be 20 or 30 km on a runway as a shakedown rather than a track test.


“We’ve done a couple of days and about 1000km with the mule. It was all specific testing because of that platform, at Silverstone and Portimao. It was very focused.

“That was targeted around getting information on specific areas. We got the answers we needed so there’s no need to take the mule out again until we start running the LMH car later this year.”

Carter said that will happen by the end of the second quarter of 2024.

“Our target, like all racing programs, is tight,” he noted. “So we’ll look to start running at the back end of the second quarter with a shakedown, then start track testing in July.”

Carter declined to share details on when, where and how long the car will test ahead of its homologation. However, Aston customer Heart of Racing’s Ian James told RACER back in March that the target is “at least 12-15 thousand kilometers” of track running before the IMSA Daytona BoP test at the end of the year.

Carter did confirm that the car will test in the USA before it begins racing and spoke about the partnership on the program with Heart of Racing and Multimatic.

“In the later stages of the program, ‘yes’ (the car will test in the USA),” he explained. “We will be focusing on one test car to start with, in Europe. Once we get over a certain threshold we will start to split cars across the U.S. and Europe. And there’s no reason why these (the test chassis) can’t be used as race cars. We’ve got a number of chassis available that we can rotate.

“(The base in the UK) is up and running,” he continued when asked about Multimatic’s involvement and the new Heart of Racing base for the program in Brackley. “They have an amount of established resource with significant sportscar experience in GT and prototype racing. They’re starting to recruit.

“It is a partnership between Aston Martin and Heart of Racing, Multimatic is not the race team, it’s a service provider for the chassis program. That’s the same in the U.S. — they are establishing the team out there and there will be commonality between how the parts are sourced and serviced.

“There will be a race team (for the GTP effort) operating, which is most likely to be focused out of Phoenix.”

Will Heart of Racing continue running in GTD as well as in GTP in the USA once the Phoenix base becomes operational?

“It’s a work in progress,” Carter said. “They’ve been a successful partner in GTD, so the expectation is we’d like them to continue.”

The proposed two-car mandate for manufacturers running in Hypercar next year also came up in the conversation. This would have an impact on Aston Martin, as its original plan was to compete with a single car in the FIA WEC and a single car in IMSA with Heart of Racing.

Welcome news is that Aston Martin and Heart of Racing remain fully committed to racing in both the WEC and IMSA with the Valkyrie. However, Carter wouldn’t be drawn into revealing whether Heart of Racing would scale up and operate the second car in the WEC if it becomes mandatory.

“We fully support what WEC is doing with the championship — it’s growing,” he said. “We are committed to a Hypercar program, so we will review what happens with the regulations and we will have to adapt if necessary. We will do whatever is necessary to compete.”

Asked whether another team would operate the second Valkyrie, Carter replied: “When the regulations are clear, we will make an announcement in due course.”

As for the drivers who will race the Valkyrie in the WEC and IMSA, Carter revealed that the selection process “will be a discussion between ourselves and Heart of Racing, but led by Heart of Racing because they are race partners.”

Story originally appeared on Racer