Romain Dumas will defend his Pikes Peak title with Norma!
Already a winner in 2014 and 2016, for the 100th anniversary of the event, Romain Dumas will again take part in the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2017 (June 25). The French driver aims to defend his title, a feat that has not been realized since Monster Tajima (from 2006 to 2011). Dumas will be entered in the Unlimited class, driving an open-cockpit prototype developed in partnership with French constructor Norma. With the Norma MXX RD Limited, Romain will be looking to take his third win at Pikes Peak and get even closer to the current record time held by Sébastien Loeb. RD Limited will additionally enter a second car in the Time Attack 1 class.
Each climb has its own story…
Next June, Romain Dumas will take part in his fifth « race to the clouds ». To climb this 14,114 foot mountain, on a 12.3 mile road comprised of 156 curves, is always a unique challenge. The 2017 edition will be no different and a lot is at stake for the defending FIA World Endurance Champion. As the only French driver to have won the event twice and holder of the second fastest time up the legendary mountain, Romain aims to win for a third time, after 2014 and 2016. Back to back victories are no simple feat, with only Monster Tajima being able to repeat success in the last 10 years !
« Each Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a real adventure. It’s a fantastic adventure when it culminates with a win, but always full of huge efforts and sacrifices » admits Romain Dumas. « It’s a hillclimb, and by definition there are always unforseen challenges and difficulties to overcome. Everything has to come together on race day and it’s never easy. That’s what I have learned from year to year : you have to plan for the unpredictable. The objective hasn’t changed : I want to win again, and even more so to defend my title as current overall champion. In addition to the climb itself, the competition will be really tough. The electric vehicles are very strong and we’ll have to have a perfect day to win. I can count on my team, which has vast experience there, as well as the support of Norma and Norbert Santos. The entire team is excited to return to Pikes Peak’s unique atmosphere. »
Same objective, different (and surprising) car !
To take on this mission, Romain Dumas has begun development of a new prototype, the Norma MXX RD Limited. The prototype, although keeping its carbon monocoque from 2016, will be very different. Following on from last year’s switch to four wheel drive, the car was completely reviewed during a study begun several months ago. In addition to the suspension elements and parts prepared specifically by PKM Consulting, the aero has been the subject of particular attention, notably in CFD.
« The car has evolved every time we have run at Pikes Peak. This time I hope it’s a revolution. » added Romain. « Clearly, our goal is to go even further in our search for outright speed. I’ve learned to be humble with regards to this legendary Pikes Peak event, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be ambitious. The number one priority is to be reliable and reach the summit without issues. Our first goal is to win. The second is to beat, or get as close as possible to, the current record. From 8’51.118 we have to get to 8’13.878. That’s a big step and we don’t have the same means as factory manufacturers, but we have a few ideas. The Norma MXX RD Limited will surprise people ! I know I can count on quality technical partners, the biggest being Norma, and also HPD. Other partners, perhaps less expected, have also joined our team. The project is very exciting and I hope the end result will be fitting of everyone’s implication. »
In concurrence with the Norma MXX RD Limited’s entry in the Unlimited class for Romain Dumas, the team will enter a second car in Time Attack 1 – a category the team knows well, having won in 2014 with Vincent Beltoise, and a second place finish in 2016 with Raphaël Astier, who also took Rookie honors. More information on this entry will be unveiled in the coming weeks.