Aston Martin is set to announce its withdrawal from the 2020-2021 WEC championship, just seven months away from the first race.
It was due to compete against Toyota in the Hypercar class, with a machine based on its V12 hybrid Valkyrie, but financial pressures and a big slug of investment from F1 team Racing Point’s owner has seen Aston Martin commit to F1: it will effectively start running a works F1 outfit from 2021, when the F1 rules are due a huge change.
It simply doesn’t have the cash to compete in both of global motorsport’s pinnacle series, so as the firm’s plans take clearer shape, WEC is on the chopping block. Aston Martin had been expected to enter up to four cars to give Toyota something to think about, but as it stands, the supposedly flagship new class is yet again a class of one.
The WEC’s organisers may now have to rethink the series altogether for the coming season, which starts in September. They may simply let Toyota’s cars race against themselves or they may keep the current LMP1 regs – at which point any competitors would simply have to carry-over last season’s car.
In a statement, Aston Martin said:
“Aston Martin Lagonda has postponed development of its World Endurance Championship Hypercar race entry, following the recent decision by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) to harmonise the Hypercar class with the so-called LMDh prototype category in the WEC from 2021 and the US-based WeatherTech Sportscar Championship from 2022.
“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. Aston Martin will now pause 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.”