On June 25, Romain Dumas will attempt to conquer the legendary Pikes Peak for the third time and defend his title in the process. He is taking part in the American event with a Norma MXX RD Limite specifically developed for this race and will take on the challenge alongside a French partner : Michelin. The tire manufacturer will equip the French driver’s prototype. It’s an undertaking that continues a long line of collaborations between Michelin and Romain Dumas, winners together at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and to which the FIA RGT Cup in rallying will be added.
Pikes Peak with Michelin, another victory is the goal…
Romain Dumas and Michelin at Pikes Peak is nothing new. In his participation in the race to the clouds, the Alès, France native drove a Porsche 911 GT3 R with Michelin rubber. He finished second overall, only 17 thousandths away from victory, winning the Open class and taking Rookie of the Year honors. Since then, he has won twice, in 2014 and 2016, with the second fastest time in history. To this day, he is the only driver along with Sébastien Loeb to have gone under the 9-minute mark to run all 156 corners over a distance of 12.38 miles.
For 2017, another challenge : to take a third win and repeat last year’s success to make it a double. And to get even closer to the course record established in 2013 by the Peugeot 208 T16 and its tires…Michelin. Choosing the French tire manufacturer was an obvious choice for Romain, official Porsche driver.
« I’ve been working with Michelin for several years, easily for more than a decade now, and we’ve often won together. » he explains. « We’ve shared so many great moments together, of course at Le Mans, but also in the USA. We had frew amazing performances in the Porsche RS Spyder, including Sebring. We’ve often spoken about Pikes Peak since my first participation in 2012 and we’ve been able to put together a project for 2017. We’re putting a lot into the Norma MXX RD Limited and I obviously wanted to have the best around me. And that’s the case with Michelin. We’re used to developping tires together, Michelin has unparalleled experience and knows Pikes Peak as well. That’s definitely a determining factor. I’m happy to take on this challenge with Michelin, and I know we’ll do a good job together. »
« Michelin is excited to be with Romain Dumas again for a very presitigious race watch by people all over the world, like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, » says Pascal Couasnon, Michelin Motorsport director. « Throughout the years and events, a confidence, friendship and mutual respect has instilled itself between Michelin and Romain Dumas. On one side, the French champion benefits from the performance and technical prowess of our tires, and on the other, we gain a lot from his feedback which is valuable to the progression of our products. Whether he’s racing on circuits, modern or historic rallies, and Pikes Peak, Michelin firmly supports Romain Dumas and wishes him the best of luck ! »
The FIA RGT Cup also on the books!
Alongside the Pikes Peak project, Romain Dumas and his team will also be present in rallying. Following his RGT class victory at the Monte Carlo, he will take part in all FIA RGT Cup rounds, comprised of various European and World Rally Championship events. With his Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4,0l RD Limited, he will be entered in the Tour de Corse (April 7-9), the Barum Rally in the Czech Republic (August 25-27), the Rally di Roma (September 16-17) and the Rallye International du Valais (August 26-28).
« It’s quite a satisfaction to have organized this complete program in FIA RGT Cup, alongside my official role as Porsche factory driver » explains Romain Dumas. « Everyone knows I like rallying and my desire to see GT cars at rallies. We’ve proven in recent years that these cars have their place on the international level. The RGT Cup is a good initiative and I’m convinced that i twill grow. Porsche, Abarth…these are well-known names and I hope they are joined by others soon. The events are cool, and we’re going to have fun ! The objective is clear : to win. With Michelin, it’s a matter of quality and consistency since I have always participated in rallies with this tire manufacturer. It’s again going to be an interesting season, with some events that I’ll be discovering for the first time. For my team, 2017 will be a very busy year, with Pikes Peak, the RGT Cup, a few Historics appearances and maybe a few surprises. »