Toyota and Aston Martin confirm commitment to FIA WEC hypercar era
Following the confirmation of new technical regulations and a decision to introduce hypercars to the top category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), Toyota and Aston Martin confirm today their intentions to participate in the 2020/2021 FIA WEC season, the inaugural season of the hypercars era. Toyota will be represented with a hybrid-powered prototype based on the GR Super Sport road car while Aston Martin will run at least two Valkyrie hypercars.
Toyota Gazoo Racing already announced its participation in the 2019-2020 season, the final campaign with the current-specification LMP1 regulations, and today confirms it will be present on the grid when the new generation of top-class endurance race cars make their WEC debut in autumn 2020.
The GT Super Sport, both in road and race version, is undergoing design and intensive development at the company’s technical centres in Toyota City, Higashi-Fuji and Cologne. Track testing of the new race car, the name of which will be revealed at a later date, will begin next year prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season.
Shigeki Tomoyama, Gazoo Racing Company President: “I am pleased to confirm that Toyota Gazoo Racing will continue its challenge in endurance racing beyond the current regulations. Thank you to the ACO and FIA for their hard work in finalising these regulations, which we hope will bring about a new golden age of endurance racing, with several manufacturers fighting for Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship. For Toyota Gazoo Racing, this new era of competition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our credentials not only as a race team against some of the best in the business, but also as a sportscar manufacturer. I am sure I join fans and competitors in welcoming the new regulations and looking forward to an exciting era of competition in WEC and at Le Mans.”
On the other side, Aston Martin made its announcement on the eve of the 60th anniversary of its glorious victory at 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. The British manufacturer will field a minimum of two works Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercars, specially-developed for the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2021, it will be 100 years since an Aston Martin first raced at Circuit de la Sarthe.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie, the world’s most extreme road car and platform for a future race car, is the combined vision of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and Aston Martin VP and Chief Special Operations Officer David King. It was created as a result of a technical collaboration between Aston Martin, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Rac ing.
The new car will feature a race-prepared version of its bespoke high-revving normally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine. Placed within a lightweight carbon fibre structure, and featuring F1 inspired aerodynamic technology, it forms a fully competitive platform capable of challenging for outright race wins.
Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer, David King said: “The FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans represent the ultimate challenge for the Aston Martin Valkyrie – the world’s most extreme hypercar. Designed and built with the purpose of pushing boundaries on the road, it’s natural to conclude that the next stage in its development would be to measure its capabilities on the track. I can think of no better way to do that than to compete in a world championship and the most prestigious and famous race of all.”