Aston Martin will not make its World Endurance Championship or Le Mans bow because it has postponed the development of its “Valkyrie” car for the races, the company stated.
The British manufacturer had planned to show up in next season’s competition together with Toyota and Peugeot in the Hypercars division, which will replace the LMP1 type of vehicles.
“This decision means that the Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercar will not make its WEC debut at Silverstone in August 2020 or compete in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said the automaker.
“Aston Martin will now postpones as it considers whether to continue in any future prototype class. Aston Martin remains open to working with both organisations to find a suitable pathway for any future participation,” statement included.
Aston Martin announced in January it would join Formula 1 next year after securing financial support from Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll by rebranding the present Racing Point team.
WEC organizers stated they had expected the withdrawal from the company, known best for its cars featuring prominently in James Bond movies.
“The decision announced by Aston Martin is very regrettable but maybe not unexpected, following the persistent rumors during the past six month about the fragility and visibility of the brand in a automobile market which is evolving quickly, as well as they decision to take part in Formula 1 as a works team in 2021,” WEC and Le Mans organizers Automobile Club de l’Ouest stated.
WEC and Le Mans want to increase interest in the race, which has been dominated by Toyota following the withdrawal of Audi in 2017 and Porsche in 2018.
Peugeot announced in November it would get back to the WEC in 2022 and Le Mans a year later and hoped to use Swiss team Rebellion Racing, however the Swiss stated they would pull out after this June’s race in France.