Pikes Peak : Romain Dumas and Norma M20FC PP.
After two days of testing at the Pôle Mécanique Alès-Cévennes and one aerodynamics day at a nearby airfield, Romain Dumas has taken part in a new round of testing for the Pikes Peak hill climbing event. Last week, the French driver was in action at the Pau-Arnos track. Since then, and while Romain was participating in the Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day, Norma (Norma Auto Concept) has refined the details of the Norma M20FC PP, which is now enroute to the United States.
Although Romain Dumas and Norbert Santos, Norma boss, know each other, they have never raced together. Destiny has united them for this Pikes Peak project. « Our first meeting goes back to Formula Renault, when Norbert Santos wanted to have me drive for him. » explains Romain Dumas. « It didn’t happen, but I always appreciated his passion for the sport. Earlier this year, I was coming back from a canceled testing session when I came across Norbert by chance. We were both talking about our cars and I told him about Pikes Peak. I knew that their prototypes were beating many hill climbing records and I was looking for a lightweight car. He was immediately taken by the project and it all took off within a few days.. »
For Norbert Santos, taking part in the legendar Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with Romain Dumas, was also an obvious step. « I’ve always wanted to work with Romain, whom I’ve known since his start in racing. » he underlines.« I admire him a lot and I admire his career path. He is very motivated. Meanwhile, a Norma is ahead in the French Mountain Championship this year : a first in the history of prototypes. Going to Pikes Peak was the logical next step. »
Teams from Norma and Romain Dumas worked together to assemble a prototype specially developed for Pikes Peak. « We didn’t want to take one of our existing cars » explains Norbert Santos. « Aroud a Norma M20FC, based on the M200 which has races at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we took the same drivetrain that makes our hill climbing cars so successful. Because of the unique nature of Pikes Peak, and notably the high altitude, we added downforce. That explains the front splitter, impressive rear wing, and rear diffuser. With Romain, we focuse on being lightweight. We opted for a 2 liter, 4 cylinder turbo engine. »
Facing the official entries from Peugeot and Hyundai in the « Unlimited » class, as well as Toyota and Mitsubishi in the Electric category, it will be a big challenge at Pikes Peak. « The tests were promising, but we know that the competition will be very strong this year. We’re clearly underdogs in this battle. We have our chosen weapon and we’re ready to take to the fight with a close-knit team that’s driven by passion for the sport. I’m not one to turn away from a challenge. »
Race week begins with the first practice day on Tuesday, June 25. The 91st edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place on Sunday, June 30.