Romain Dumas wins FIA RGT class, 2017 Monte-Carlo Rally
A week after his 8th place finish in the Dakar Rally, Romain Dumas also completed the 85th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rally, first round of the 2017 World Rally Championship. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4,0l developed and entered by RD Limited, he clinched a win in class. He is thus the first to lead the FIA RGT Cup. Together with co-driver Gilles de Turckheim, Romain Dumas had already taken part in the competition, back in 2015. For his second go this year he claimed ten of the RGT’s fastest times.
“I was there to win and collect points…”
Switching from Dakar to Monte-Carlo and from the Peugeot 3008 DKR to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4,0l in just a couple of days was a huge challenge. All the more considering the weather conditions of this 85th edition: ice, snow… The perfect ingredients to make this rally very difficult, and even more so with a two-wheel drive car and an unstable engine at the back.
But just 48 hours after the Dakar’s finish line, Romain Dumas got down to the job as the traditional shakedown was scheduled two days later. Thursday was time for a new start. The first special stage got cancelled. During ES2, Dumas lost control on a patch of ice coming out of a blind corner. He had to start the Super Rally with a 10-minute penalty the following day. The current Endurance World Champion then showed power and speed clinching the fastest times in the fifth and eighth special stages.
On Saturday he got in the lead in class by posting the five best times of the day. Same scenario on Sunday, for the ultimate leg which included three timed stages as ES16 got cancelled. He finally made it to the finish as RGT winner, with a 26th place overall.
“I’m satisfied with this outcome. A bit like with the Dakar, I’d say mission accomplished. I was there to win and collect points so…” Romain Dumas says. “It really was the toughest conditions one could imagine for a Monte-Carlo rally with a Porsche car. But I made do with it as much as possible and we managed to bring the car back onto the final podium. It didn’t start out very well but it was all fine in the end. That’s what matters. Without the team’s hard work on Thursday, I wouldn’t have been able to start again. They also did a great job at the weekend, so thumbs up to them all. The car performed well, no problem encountered. 2015 had already been such a special experience for me, well, 2017 was definitely a level higher in terms of difficulty.”
Following on a second place in RGT class as part of the 2015 Monte-Carlo Rally, Romain Dumas secured the win this time and is now in the lead of the FIA RGT Cup. The Porsche’s factory driver will soon move on to the rest of the season. January has already been a very positive month for him.
“I was a bit frustrated with my second place two years ago. It was early days with the team and we lacked experience” he adds. “Yet that first go definitely benefited us this year, even though in the end it was all about avoiding irreparable damage and making it in one piece to the last special stage’s finish. Surviving! It’s hard to really assess our performance in this context. We had quite a good rhythm since we got in or near the Top 20 several times. That’s where we should have finished, but it wasn’t our priority anyway. We’re now going to focus on what’s to come. There’s a busy season awaiting RD Limited, whether with modern or classics cars, in rally or other competitions.”
Details of Romain Dumas and RD Limited’s programme will be communicated within the next few weeks.