Aston Martin chairman David Richards says one of the company's brand-new LMP1 prototypes could make its racing debut at next year's Sebring 12 Hours in March.
Work on the new open-cockpit purpose-built machine began in earnest two months ago – and was revealed at the Silverstone Le Mans Series race on Saturday – but Richards said he did not expect the car to run until January.
"The car won't turn a wheel until early 2011," he told AUTOSPORT. "The engine should be done by November we believe, but I don't see us on a track until January.
"We will do as much testing and racing as we can. I would hope we will have at least one car at Sebring next year."
Richards added that Aston Martin will build six of the new machines which includes those to be run by customer teams, but said that a plan for how many races the factory cars would run remains undefined.
"The actual program of events is not yet determined," he said. "We are very interested in the ACO's announcement later about the International Challenge from Le Mans later on today. We think that is a great principle – a series of single events around the world – we think that suits Aston Martin, depending on the venues of course. We want to support our customers as well. We will be operating these cars and they will make their own press announcements in their own time.
"Part of our philosophy is to make sure that not just future cars, but those from this year are able to run under the grandfather rights of the Le Mans Series as well."