Aston Martin is close to reviving its Valkyrie Le Mans Hypercar for an assault on the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2025.
The Valkyrie LMH programme is set to be reactivated after more than three years on the back-burner as Aston Martin and US-based team Heart of Racing ramp up a relationship that already straddles the GT arenas in IMSA and WEC.
Motorsport.com has learned that Aston and Heart of Racing, which is backed by computer games tycoon Gabe Newell, are closing in on a deal to bring a car conceived to start racing in 2021 to the track.
The deal is not done as yet, but it is understood that it could be just weeks away.
Aston is known to be speaking to suppliers about the potential programme and is already putting key staff in place to oversee the programme.
These include former Williams Formula 1 engineering director Adam Carter, who joined the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies division earlier this year.
Aston would not confirm that it is working to revive the Valkyrie LMH, but it stressed its sportscar racing DNA and that it continually evaluates its options when asked for a comment by Motorsport.com.
"We are encouraged by the growth of the Hypercar class, and the hugely successful centenary Le Mans 24 Hours was a shining example of this," said a spokesman.
"Motorsport is an ever-changing landscape, so of course as a global hypercar brand we continue to play close attention to the class."
Comments from Heart of Racing team principal Ian James hinted at the plans for Aston to attempt to repeat its 1959 Le Mans victory with the DBR1.
"We are always looking at new stuff," said James, who set up Heart of Racing ahead of 2020 to mastermind Aston's return to the GT ranks in IMSA.
"We've never made any secret of our desire to move up to the top class of international sportscar racing.
"But for the moment nothing has been agreed and certainly nothing signed."
Heart of Racing, which runs out of workshops in Florida, has already expanded into the WEC with Aston this year.
It stepped up to take over the NorthWest AMR entry ahead of the Spa round in April after already enjoying success in IMSA: it won the 2022 GT Daytona title and took class honours at this year's Daytona 24 Hours.
The extent of plans for the Valkyrie racer remains unknown, except that the intent is for it to compete in both the WEC and IMSA.
It is understood that Multimatic Motorsport would continue to lead development of the LMH, though it would come under the direction of the AMPT division based at the new-for-2023 Silverstone headquarters of the Aston Martin F1 team.
The concept of the Valkyrie race car is believed to be largely unchanged from its genesis.
It will powered by the same 6.5-litre normally-aspirated V12 developed for the street car in conjunction with Cosworth, but will run without the rear-axle hybrid system of its road-going cousin.
This configuration was adopted for the AMR Pro track day Valkyrie, which Aston admitted incorporated technology from the still-born racer on its launch in 2021.
Aston Martin took advantage of revisions to the original LMH rules published in December 2018, which opened up the class to manufacturers wanting to use a road-going hypercar as a base.
The sale of customer cars was a cornerstone of the business plan for the Valkyrie LMH.
Aston claimed the financial validity of the programme was undermined when LMP2-based LMDh cars were incorporated into the Hypercar division of the WEC.
The announcement of LMDh in January 2020 was quickly followed by one from Aston stating that the Valkyrie programme had been put on hold.
It appeared to be dead until comments early last year from Lawrence Stroll, who rebranded the Racing Point F1 team as Aston Martin after leading a buy-out of the British marque.
He hinted at a high-level return to Le Mans by Aston which ended its factory participation in GTE Pro after winning the 2019/20 title.
Aston has been absent from the top class at Le Mans since the short-lived and unsuccessful AMR-One open-top LMP1 of 2011.
That car followed the Lola-based DBR1/2 P1 coupe also developed by the Prodrive-run Aston Martin Racing operation, which has no involvement in the Valkyrie programme.