Romain Dumas conquered two of racing’s biggest mountains – one figuratively and one literally – when he captured the overall victory at the 100th anniversary run of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, one week after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche.
A week after his 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, Romain Dumas took home a historic victory in the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He becomes the first Frenchman to win twice overall, as well as the first driver to take back to back Le Mans/Pikes Peak victories in the same season! Driving the Norma M20 RD Limited Spec-2016 entered by his own team, the Alès, France driver signed the second fastest time (8:51.445) in the history of the event.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is no joke. The race is set on the public Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado, and contains 156 corners – mostly hairpin and blind – in 12.42 miles (19.99 kilometres).
But this is just part of the challenge; the other is elevation changes. PPIHC begins at 9,390 feet (1440 metres) above sea level, and finishes at 14,115 feet (4300 metres) at the summit of the mountain, where gas engines lose nearly 30 percent of their power due to the higher altitude. It is the world’s last real “DontCrackUnderPressure” race.
Despite a blown engine that prevented any running on the Friday before the race—and an epic case of jet lag after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans the week before—Romain Dumas was the fastest man of the day at Pikes Peak, setting the second-fastest time ever.
It’s the second time Dumas has won at Pikes Peak, the last being in 2014. The win was historic in that it was at the hill climb’s 100th anniversary, but also because Dumas’ time of 8:51.445 was the second-fastest time ever behind WRC legend Sebastien Loeb’s record-setting run from 2013 with an astonishing and unbeatable time of 8:13.878.
“It’s incredible! To win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Pikes Peak within days, it’s beyond my dreams ! I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet,” said Dumas. “The win was the objective from the word go, but it wasn’t an easy challenge. There were expectations because we had to better our performance from two years ago, and we knew the electric prototypes would be quick and our car was still new. We wanted to show our level of performance. We didn’t quite do that, to be honest, with a pierced hose and small issues with the brakes near the end of the run. But we won after all and that’s the main thing and I’m very happy.”
Now check out the Dumas onboard video below.