French Racing Star Romain Dumas and Company Return To The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb For The Race’s 100th AnniversaryWednesday, Feb. 24 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS (Feb. 24, 2016) – The field of approximately 100 competitors for this summer’s 100th anniversary and 94th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Brought to you by Gran Turismo will include French racing sensation and 2014 King of the Mountain Romain Dumas. With two class victories and one overall championship at both Pikes Peak and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dumas will make his return to America’s Mountain on June 26, just days after contesting one of Porsche’s two LMP1 entries at Le Mans.
The Alès, France native, who will return to the Race to the Clouds piloting a new Norma M20 prototype developed by his RD Limited label in the race’s Unlimited Divisions, will have two goals: become the first two-time French overall winner, and go under the elusive 9-minute mark. As was the case two years ago, the team will enter a second car, a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, driven by Hugues Ripert in the Time Attack 1 Class.
In 2014, Dumas became the third French driver to claim overall victory in the PPIHC, following in the footsteps of Michèle Mouton (1985) and Sébastien Loeb (2013). Dumas took the title in the prestigious Unlimited Class, becoming the first French driver to win with his own team and in a car that was developed in-house, the Norma M20 RD Limited. A few moments later, Vincent Beltoise completed RD Rallye Team’s success by claiming victory in the Time Attack 1 class. With a winning time of 9:05.801, Dumas owns the third fastest time in the race’s history behind Loeb, the only driver under the 9-minute mark (2013 – 8:13.878), and Rhys Millen (2013 – 9:02.192).
Now, two years later, Dumas is heading back to Colorado Spring as The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb celebrates its 100th year. For the occasion approximately 100 competitors will be at the starting line: 67 cars and 33 bikes. Among them will be Dumas’ new Norma 20 RD Limited alongside nine other Unlimited and five Electric Modified entries, including last year’s overall champion Rhys Millen after claiming the first overall electric powered victory in motorsports history.
“This race has a special meaning in my career, everyone knows this, and I couldn’t miss the centennial anniversary of Pikes Peak,” admits Dumas. “The team has been there three times, which may not seem like a lot, but we have so many stories to tell from Pikes Peak. Each edition was an adventure, and the last time in 2014, it was a fabulous experience for me and Vincent Beltoise in our cars. That said, it wasn’t easy, and behind the wheel I had to fight. Then, it was an emotional moment! I wanted to come back because I still have some unfinished business at the top of that legendary mountain, and 100 years is an exceptional feat for a race. Our mission isn’t easy, I want to win again and beat the 9-minute mark. I’m entirely convinced that one can’t be without the other.”
To reach his goal, Dumas has begun developing a new Norma M20 RD Limited prototype which will again carry the number 30 from 2014. Starting from an all new chassis, the team will focus on improving every detail – mechanical and aerodynamic – which will help him perform even better than he did two years ago.
“Returning with Norma and Norbert Santos was an obvious choice for me,” says Dumas. “He’s put so much passion and energy into this project since 2013. I know we have a good base to work with and that we can accomplish great things. The team knows the car well, which has strong intrinsic qualities, especially its lightweight nature. We also have a few interesting ideas in mind, and we will have more on that in the coming weeks. In any case, it’s a huge challenge. In the same season, I’ll go from the Dakar, to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and on to Pikes Peak. A grueling cross-country rally, a legendary endurance sportscar race and finally the most incredible hill climbing event on the planet. That’s already an incredible story! I really hope this upcoming June will be extra special. I’m ultra-motivated!”
A Porsche 911 GT3 RS for PPIHC Rookie Hugues Ripert
As it did in 2014, the RD Rallye Team will enter a second car in the Time Attack 1 Class. The same Porsche 911 GT3 RS chassis the Vincent Beltoise used in his 2014 class victory will be driven by Hugues Ripert carrying the number 19. Ripert, the founder of Spark Models and a long-time partner of the team, has raced in the French VdeV Series as well as the Audi R8 LMS Cup China during three seasons, followed by a stint in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
“I’m thrilled that Hugues will be with us on this return,” says Dumas. “It was because of him that my own Pikes Peak adventure began in 2012 with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. He has a lot of passion for auto racing and Porsche in particular. He’s been with us and supported us on every challenge and I’m excited that he’s entered in this race alongside me. It’s also another dimension of my team, helping gentlemen drivers take on new adventures such as this one. My role will be to guide Hugues on his first Pikes Peak participation. I’d also like to thank the organizers for accepting our two entries.”
The PPIHC’s International field includes entries from Japan, Canada, Isle of Man, England, Australia, France, Taiwan, Corsica, Poland, Brazil, Scotland and the United States.
Click HERE to see the current entry list.