Romain Dumas, three-time winner of the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will again defend his crown this year. Although the French driver will head to the mountain in official Volkswagen Motorsport colors, his RD Limited team will also take part in the 96th edition, to be run June 24, 2018. In fact, the team will be better represented than ever in Colorado as it has entered two cars in the Open class, for Laure Many and Raphaël Astier, as well as bringing operational support to Belgian manufacturer Gillet Vertigo, with Vanina Ickx behind the wheel.
RD Limited in number at Pikes Peak !
Having taken overall victory in 2014, 2016 and 2017, Romain Dumas will take part in the race to the clouds for the sixth time in seven years. Having entered under his own team’s banner in each of his previous participations, this year will see Romain with the official Volkswagen Motorsport program and its all-electric prototype. « It’s a new challenge for me and it’s clearly very exciting. » admits Romain. « With Norma and my team, we had fabulous experiences these past years. Those wins were a huge achievement. Today, it’s going to be a different approach. It’s a new team, new car, new technology… As a driver, the desire to do well is huge. I’m also very proud that Volkswagen Motorsport has called upon the assistance of some people from my team. It was an obvious choice to make a return to this great race, and I’m thrilled that it’s going to be with people and drivers that I appreciate, like Laure, Raphaël and Vanina. I’m happy to see we keep growing. »
To keep growing, RD Limited will enter two cars in the Pikes Peak Open class. Following on from her first participation last year, Laure Many will return with a Porsche 911 SC 3.0l Gr4. With an eighth-place finish in her debut, Laure reached the summit, at 14,110 feet in altitude, under epic conditions, battling hail, snow and fog. « I had an incredible adventure » she explains. « Personally, it was a fantastic week. On the sporting side, it was crazy ! Pikes Peak is a legendary race that’s difficult to describe. I’m very happy to be making a return, this time with even higher expectations. I hope to have just as much fun and to perform as best as possible. I know I can count on a top team, who knows the race and the car perfectly. From my perspective, I will benefit from my experiences in 2017. »
Laure Many will be joined by Raphaël Astier, who is also making a return to Pikes Peak. In 2016, he was crowned best rookie when he finished second in the Time Attack 1 class, nearly beating the 10-minute mark. This year, Raphaël will be competing in Pikes Peak Open in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0l developed by RD Limited, with which Romain Dumas won the FIA RGT Cup in 2017. « Pikes Peak remains a great memory for me, like all drivers who have raced there, and I wanted to climb that special mountain road again, » explains the 2016 French Rallying Cup champion. « The opportunity presented itself and all the pieces of the puzzle we fit together quickly. I know Romain’s team well, as well as the rally Porsches prepared by RD Limited, so I’m motivated to do even better than in 2016. This time I hope to go under the 10-minute mark, and also get closer to the class record time. »
With Gillet Vertigo and Vanina Ickx !
Proof of the renowned expertise of Romain Dumas and his team at Pikes Peak, members of his squad will provide support to the Gillet Vertigo project with Vanina Ickx driving. The Belgian manufacturer heads to the race to the clouds on its 25th anniversary. And for this project, it has confided in RD Limited to provide technical and logistical assistance.
« Romain and his team have a knowledge base of Pikes Peak that is without equal. We’re excited to be able to rely on this support, which has a track record of quality and success » explains Jean-Michel Delporte, leader of the Gillet Vertigo project. « For the marque’s anniversary, it’s a fun nod to its roots, as Tony Gillet was a career hill climb racer. Vanina Ickx is a driver who is used to all types of different challenges, and that’s something she shares with Romain. It’s an honor to have such personalities involved in our adventure. »
A unique event, featuring a course comprised of 156 turns over 12.4 miles, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is schedule for June 24, 2018. Romain Dumas is the only French three-time winner and double defending champion. He holds the second fast time set on the mountain in history.