Romain Dumas comes close to an exploit in Rallye d’Ypres
In the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0l developed by RD Limited, Romain Dumas made a big impression on the Rallye d’Ypres. Long time in charge of the R-GT class, the Alès, France native also reached the top five overall, among the RRC and R5 cars, making this a true performance considering he was discovering this event for the first time. Alas, it was a performance that went unfulfilled as Romain was forced to retire in the next to last special stage following powertrain problems. He was nonetheless awarded the « Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy », which is given to the competitor who best competed in the spirit of the famous Scottish rally driver.
« Our performance surprised people… »
After a convincing qualifying run (10th place overall and first in R-GT), Romain Dumas took control of the category from the very first special stage. Although he dropped to second place in SS3 and SS4, he recovered to regain the class lead from the start of the second loop on day one. The factory Porsche driver even increased the pace, taking the seventh fastest time in SS6 and fifth in SS7 to finish the day in ninth overall, leading R-GT.
After battling with François Delecour in the first few special stages, Romain Dumas confirmed his status as leader. He kept pushing to take fourth fastest time in SS12, placing him fifth overall. Thanks to consistency, he gained yet another position, running fourth overall behind a Skoda Fabia R5 and two Citroën DS3 R5 heading into the final two stages. Unfortunately, he came to a halt in SS16 following an issue in with the powertain, depriving him from a class victory in R-GT and an unheard of overall result.
« This isn’t the way I wanted to end the rally and so there’s a certain bitter taste, but a lot of good things to remember from this Rallye d’Ypres » explains Romain Dumas. « I was discovering this event for the first time and I was told that it was difficult. I can confirm. I made a few mistakes, but up against these drivers who knew the terrain well, I have nothing to be ashamed of. The car was really handling well. I was comfortable at the wheel, the times were good from the start and I got wrapped up in the battle. I attacked hard, I really enjoyed myself and we were in position to get a great overall result. To be in the top four was unexpected and it shows the quality of work from the team. We were unable to seal the deal but our performance was undeniable. It surprised people…. We convincingly led the R-GT class, which was the main objective. I’m disappointed to not to finish, but satisfied after showing such competitiveness. »
Romain also received the « Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy » from Jimmy McRae, Colin’s father. « It’s an honor and I’m pround to have gotten this trophy » he admits. « We were fast and aggressive…We took on the rally from an offensive point of view, and I think that corresponds well to Colin McRae’s personality. I came here to enjoy myself and that was the case. Now I hope to come back to win. »