Race Lines: Aston Martin 'David vs. Goliath' Le Mans Challenge

Aston Martin Valkyrie at Silverstone - nose A newcomer to the hypercar field in the racing category has everything to prove, as the person in charge explained to us

David versus Goliath. It's an old cliché, but for cash-poor, ambitious car execs who want to go racing, it remains a motivator (literally) of biblical proportions.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Valkyrie and the new Le Mans hypercar rule. This time next year, a racing version of the naturally aspirated rated road car will take the bow in the Endurance World Championship against Toyota's purebred hybrid hypercar prototype - the Super Sport Group. David versus Goliath. And gold at the end of the rainbow? Racing that really matters: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 2021.

Can Aston Really Win Le Mans Outright? It depends almost entirely on performance balance - artificial ways to level a machine are completely different concepts.

Palmer, the man at the head of a company that has just posted nearly £80 million half a year in losses, is in dire need of Le Mans, manufacturers tend to get their sum right away.

“We are going head to head with Toyota. It will be David versus Goliath,” he says. “They may overspend and be non-scientific, but these rules will live and die little David while being competitive. If we do, it will attract other manufacturers.”

So just a “minimum” of two major automakers for this bright new era? “I'm sure others will come next season,” says Palmer. “They will follow up to make sure everything comes out in a fair and disciplined manner. The first few races will be the key.”

The partner of the racing team is considered to be Multimatic - an outfit for Ford's successful gt Le Mans program on board, and two more Valkyries for the second outfit can be taken from a couple of the Toyota factory. That is, private traders such as Glickenhaus are hard at work.

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Six to 10 cars at best? This is just the beginning, albeit a slow one. Meanwhile, Aston will continue to expand its racing activities elsewhere. A new-to-adopt observational series will be launched in Europe next year, while Blancpain's GT and DTM tin-campaigns will live on, all the charms of Swiss partner R-Motorsport.

DTM's move this year was puzzled by what - Aston doesn't make passenger cars - but in filling out the Mercedes-Benz waste shoes were too good for Ms. Palmer. “Germany is our second largest market,” he says. “We are not winning, but this is not a surprise.

“The instruction was just don't embarrass us, and they don't. They scored points, which is somewhat better than I expected. It was a credible first season.” And next year? “Score points, perhaps from time to time a podium. Next year, I hope we will be in Strife.”

Palmer is famous for his optimism. Again, maybe we are Philistines if we doubt him.


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