Aston Martin Racing president David King sat down with the media to discuss the Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercar project at Silverstone last weekend and provided assurance that all motorsport programmes announced by the manufacturer will go ahead.
Regarding Aston Martin’s results on the stock market and how that may impact racing operations, King stated that everything announced by the brand would be happening regardless of ‘headwinds’: “[Since re-entering motorsport in 2005], we’ve had headwinds to the business, and we’ve always stayed committed to race in sportscars. We’ve been through various hurdles, such as the global banking crisis in 2008 that hit all luxury manufacturers hard. But we stayed with it.
“Having some headwinds at the moment doesn’t alter our commitment to racing at all. The programmes we’re involved in are evolving as we go along. It has no impact on the things we said we’re going to do.”
King said that the Hypercar will need to roll out early this year in order to be ready for Season 9: “You can work out the timing yourselves, really. It needs to happen early next year. It needs to go through the BoP process and be ready to race, so I can’t give exact times right now. It was an ambitious thing to say we’ll be ready for the start of the new season because the regs hadn’t been finalised.
“We’ve got ourselves under a big timing pressure by saying we want to be there from the start, but that’s what we’re trying to do.”
King also re-affirmed the availability of customer cars and confirmed that established Aston Martin teams and potential new partners are interested. However, there will likely not be customer cars in the Hypercar ranks until the second season.
In LMP2 the modifications that will have to be made to ensure the cars are not faster than the new top-class remain something of a mystery. DSC asked King how far back from Hypercar the secondary class cars will have to be to satisfy Aston.
He said: “I don’t know exactly. I think we should have a situation where a well-run, well-driven LMP2 car could be at a badly-run and badly-driven Hypercar. There would be a little bit of overlap, but they shouldn’t be able to spring a surprise; it wouldn’t make the commitment and the investment to the sport [worthwhile] if that were the case.
“Sportscar racing doesn’t exist as a manufacturer only sport. It fundamentally depends on the private teams both in all classes, so we can’t just ignore those guys. It has to be a compelling proposition for the private teams to want to race LMP2 as well. Part of that is that, with a well-run car, you can spring a surprise result and get them near the front of the race overall, as we’ve seen at times in the past.”