Dakar 2016: A challenge taken to heart for Romain Dumas and Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque !
Romain Dumas is headed to the Dakar for the second consecutive time but this participation in the world’s most famous cross-country rally will be a lot different from the first. For starters, it’s a new car. The Alès, France native will be driving a Peugeot 2008 DKR15+ with co-driver François Borsotto. It’s also a new team, as Dumas’ own RD Rallye Team will be directly involved with running the car. And above all, it’s a challenge from the heart with Romain proudly flying the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque colors to help save, along with Matmut’s aid, eight children. So the stakes will be high from January 3-16, in Argentina and Bolivia for the 2016 edition of the Dakar.
A new challenge for RD Rallye Team…
Since starting his own team, Romain Dumas has explored multiple horizons, first in rallying at the regional, national and international levels throughout the years, with success both overall and in class. On a whole other level, Pikes Peak, with an historical double victory in 2014, one overall with Romain Dumas himself and the other in GT with Vincent Beltoise. Without a doubt, 2016 marks the starting point of a new set of challenges for the team based at the Pôle Mécanique Alès-Cevennes : the RD Rallye Team will be making its debut at the Dakar and more generally in cross-country rallying. This first participation will be with a Peugeot 2008 DKR15+, acquired from Peugeot Sport.
"The goal when it comes to my team is always the same, to progress and move forward" says Romain. "The Dakar fits perfectly with this mentality and there is a desire to develop in the future like we did in rally with the RD Limited label, our customer program. And the 2016 Dakar is the first step in a sense, and it’s a tough one. It’s a whole new environment for the team, and a entirely new way of racing too, with a new car that we will be learning. The challenge is there for a team that’s growing year after year. I know I can count on these team members who have a lot of experience, a huge capacity for adaptation and incredible human qualities. That’s what will give us the edge to succesfully take on this challenge."
Alongside Romain Dumas and François Borsotto, the RD Rallye Team will be comprised of five members, including an engineer who won the Dakar in Africa, and three mechanics.
A challenge taken to heart for Romain Dumas and Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque !
The 2016 Dakar is also a personal challenge for Romain Dumas. The Frenchman was forced to retire in his first participation with the finish in his sights. It’s a bit of unfinished business that he hopes to complete in his second go at the South American event. It’s also with this goal in mind that the Peugeot 2008 DKR15+ was chosen.
"The first objective is of course to reach the finish" underlines Romain. "After that, i’m not going to hide the fact that my temperament pushes me to want more. In reality, this means I’d like to make a few big impressions and get a good final result. A top 15 would be good, but we know that in the Dakar, it all happens so fast. I learned a lot from my first attempt so my approach has certainly evolved as a result. I’m preparing for this event like I do an endurance race : we’ll take things as they come, without chasing rainbows and while trying to avoid problems and save the equipment. The Peugeot 2008 DKR15+ is a competitive car that should allow me the chance to ‘express’ myself."
For the kids of Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque...
Along with the Matmut contest, Romain Dumas will fly the colors for Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, an association which helps children with heart issues. During this 2016 edition of the Dakar, eight children suffering from cardiac malformations will be saved, a major objective for Romain Dumas and his team. "We’re talking about sporting ambitions and results, but the project with Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque gives another dimension to this participation» he explains. "When you think of these children, it puts things in perspective.
They are another source of motivation. In tough moments while driving the car, it makes us want to fight, and not give up. In a way, I have a responsibility to these children and I don’t want to let them down. I want to be up to the task and put a smile on each one of their faces, like with Samba during the car’s shakedown. The mission will be accomplished when all eight children are saved. They will be with me during this adventure and that’s why we are bring along ‘little heart’ with us. This stuffed teddy bear will be our mascot and will ride with us in Argentina and Bolivia."