Tour de Corse : The big eight for Romain Dumas Rallye Team !
Only one year ago Romain Dumas was discovering Tour de Corse for the first time. In that ERC sanctioned event, the French driver had an impressive top five finish overall and took R-GT class honors. Twelve months later, and Rally Corsica has found itself back on the World Rally Championship calendar and the RD Rallye Team has never been as active on a rally than on the island of Corsica ! The team, based at the Pôle Mécanique d’Alès, will enter no fewer than eight Porsches over the coming weeks, both in modern and VHC events. Driving his Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0l in the R-GT class, Romain Dumas will head up this unprecedented delegation of Porsches.
Eight Porsches, seven different models in seven classes, 30 people working three events !
After founding his own team – RD Rallye Team – in 2007, Romain Dumas created his own brand in early 2014 – RD Limited – dedicated to the preparation and development of Porsches for rallying. It has been a successful venture so far and the team’s entries in the three upcoming events in Corsica – Rally Corsica, 10 000 Curves, Rally Corsica Historics – are clear results of such achievements. Eight Porsches of all types will be present on the « Beautiful Island. »
« It’s a proud moment but also a huge responsibility to know that the team will manage eight events over 10 days » explains Romain Dumas. « It’s a great example of what RD Rallye Team and RD Limited are now able to accomplish. I think it’s unique to have such diversity in our entries ! For sure we are the only team to have so many different models in so many classes : R-GT, GT+, GT10, Gr3, Gr4 – from historics to contemporary cars. There’s also a big human element to this adventure and that’s always exciting.
« Looking back on it, the path we’ve taken to become one of the top teams in this domain in 2015 is incredible. In terms of logistics, it’s one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced. It represents six transporters and 30 people in total ! And the fact that these events will all take place in Corsica, on such a beautiful and legendary island makes this even more exciting. After Pikes Peak, French hill climbing or even VHC gravel rallies, this is another step for RD Rallye Team and RD Limited. I don’t know if we’ll do more than this in the future, but this is certainly a major step. This isn’t the end of our journey, we’ve got more challenges in mind ! »
Three Porsches entered by RD Rallye Team and prepared by RD Limited will be at the start of Rally Corsica (Oct. 1-4). With his regular co-driver Denis Giraudet, Romain Dumas (#24) will drive the only Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0l entered in R-GT. In the French championship, Hervé Poly and Xavier Lyonnet Mariani (#95) will drive a Porsche 997 GT3 RS in GT+, while Richard Thiery and Olivier Fournier (#100) will pilot a Porsche 996 GT3 RS in GT10.
Christian Schmitter, who usually runs in the French Mountains championship in an RD Limited prepared Porsche 911 GT2, will take part in the 10,000 curves event with a Porsche Cayman.
Four other Porsches will find the starting line in Rally Corsica Historics (Oct. 5-10). Christian Kelders and Christophe Kerkhove (#6) will be at the controls of a Porsche 911 RS 3.0l Gr4. Alexandre Vernazza and Thomas De Campou (#48) will pilot a Porsche 911 SC Gr 4, as will Laure Many and Françoise Conconi (#132) in the women’s cup, while Gerard Swaton and Gérard Canavese (#66) will drive a Porsche SC Gr3.
At the wheels of his R-GT class win at Rally Germany, Romain Dumas will take part in the fourth round of the R-GT cup which will mark his final of the season (the final taking place at the same time as an FIA WEC event). Of course, Romain wants to shine. « I don’t know if I will have more rallies on my schedule so my objective will be to enjoy myself and to do a good job. » he admits. « Last year in this event, we showed that GT entries have a real place on the international level. That didn’t make it an easy rally. The 2015 itinerary looks at least as difficult so we will not change our approach : reach the finish with no issues while also being quick. On the Corsican roads, that’s not an easy mission to accomplish ! »