In his first participation in the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Romain Dumas finished second overall with a time of 9min46sec181! The French driver came close to overall spoils, even as he battled rain and hail in the final portion of the course, to finish only seventeenth thousandths of a second behind the winner, specialist Rhys Millen. Behind the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 R, Romain Dumas takes the Pikes Peak Open class win. A fine reward for his first “Race to the Clouds”.
Pikes Peak is a legendary race that you have to tame and it takes time.
Before taking the start, Romain Dumas had set himself several goals: win his class and learn as much as possible to prepare for a possible future participation. The Alès native, who held the new Pikes Peak record for several minutes, wasn’t content in simply accomplishing these missions. “The overall assessment is obviously positive” he said after this big discovery.
“We confirmed our good form in testing by dominating the Pikes Peak Open class. That was our original goal in terms of a result. I said it several times before, our goal along with the team was also to familiarise ourselves with this very unique environment, to learn the course, and to gather as much information as possible for the future. That’s the case, there’s no doubt about it. Pikes Peak is a legendary race that you have to tame and it takes time. We arrived here on Monday, we had never run here…The team was excellent and there are several positive points.”
After three practice sessions, which allowed him to discover the three sections that comprise the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Romain Dumas completed his first complete run during the race. Driving his Porsche 911 GT3 R, he didn’t encounter any issues in the first third of the course before coming face to face with hail and rain in the highest portion.
“It’s frustrating but we knew this could happen” admits the official Porsche driver. “After 20km and 156 corners, there was only seventeenth thousandths of a second between us and a major coup that nobody could have imagined a few weeks ago…or even a few hours ago! Along with the team, we quickly immerged ourselves into the competition and we were in the game. We knew we couldn’t rival the best Unlimited class cars, which have much more power, but we weren’t that far. We were able to avoid a certain number of traps event though we had to learn everything. Even though I didn’t know the course and the car had never run on such a surface, we were always among the front runners.”
Before turning to new upcoming challenges, Romain Dumas explains his conclusion to this American adventure. “For a first participation, we couldn’t hope for more. This win in Pikes Peak Open, in a legendary race, is the fruits of efforts begun at the end of 2007 when I entered rallying. I came here with my own team who perfectly prepared the car at Pôle Mécanique d’Alès, and we really enjoyed ourselves during the week. It was a very good sporting and human adventure.”
Source: Romain Dumas Press Office