For its return to Pikes Peak in Colorado, Volkswagen has selected Romain Dumas, a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner with Audi and Porsche, two marques owned by the German company. For the first time ever, the three-time winner of the hill climb will compete at the wheel of a 100% electric prototype on June 24th.
These past few years, Romain Dumas has managed to keep his opponents using an electric motor at bay and win the Pikes Peak hill climb three times in four editions, but this year the French driver himself will compete with an electric engine, joining Volkswagen Motorsport who announced the project back in October.
Unlike gasoline engines that lose power little by little as the climb progresses and oxygen in the air becomes more scarce, electric motors maintain consistent power all the way to the summit, a signficant advantage at Pikes Peak where the finish line is at an altitude of 4,302 meters. Volkswagen's goal is to beat the record for an electric car set by Rhys Millen in 2016 in 8'57"118, a time Romain Dumas surpassed in 2016 (8'51"445).
Third at the Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend, Romain Dumas has already achieved one of the most impressive track records of any active driver in Endurance with two wins at the 24 Hours, in 2010 and 2016, plus a class victory at Le Mans in 2013, the top step on the podium at the 24 Hours of Spa, five wins at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and a stunning triumph at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2008 under the nose of Audi and Peugeot at the wheel of a Porsche RS Spyder LMP2.
After participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class in 2017 with Alpine (eighth in the class), this year Romain Dumas will represent Porsche entering four 911 RSRs in LMGTE Pro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Frenchman will share the wheel of the #94 car with Timo Bernhard, one of his two cohorts in the 2010 win with Audi, and young driver jeune Sven Müller.
Volkswagen extended a warm welcome to Romain Dumas with a comical short film recalling its last attempt at the Race to the Clouds back in 1987 which was a bitter pill to swallow for the German marque when Jochi Kleint was forced to retire just a few laps from the finish line.
PHOTO (Copyright - Volkswagen): Romain Dumas will represent Volkswagen at Pikes Peak.