Dumas chosen for Volkswagen's electric Pikes Peak project
Volkswagen has picked two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and factory Porsche GT driver Romain Dumas as the driver for its Pikes Peak electric car project.
The German marque has admitted its entry in the famous American hillclimb this year is designed as the precursor to a future fully-fledged factory motorsport return using electric technology, mostly likely in the World Rallycross Championship.
Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets explained the choice of three-time event winner Dumas, saying: “Romain is one of the fastest drivers to have ever entered the Pikes Peak race.
"What’s more, he has thousands of kilometres of experience with racing prototypes under his belt. This makes him the perfect driver for Volkswagen as it makes its debut with a fully electric racing car.”
Volkswagen’s electric racer is expected to test in late March or early April.
Smeets added: “It’s not so easy to test for this event, you can only run at Pikes Peak at the official test days in June so otherwise we’re going to be using uphill roads and our own test track in Wolfsburg.”
The proposed drivetrain for the Pikes Peak car has been running for sometime, with Smeets underlining the importance of the project for Volkswagen.
“I can emphasise it is the project for 2018," he said. "For the future, we have to do well and prove the concept is working with an eye to the future in the electric world in motorsport.”
Dumas said he is looking forward to a return to the 12.42-mile Colorado hillclimb and challenging Rhys Millen’s current record for all-electric cars of 8m57.118s.
He said: “Pikes Peak is a big challenge, because every driver only has one attempt. But I have real faith in Volkswagen Motorsport.
"The team is highly motivated and has already shown on many occasions that it is capable of achieving success right away on unfamiliar terrain.”
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