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Electric Personality

Romain Dumas testing the Volkswagen I.D. R. [Volkswagen photo]

Romain Dumas testing the Volkswagen I.D. R. [Volkswagen photo]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

Romain Dumas is about to come full circle. The former Audi factory driver and current Porsche factory driver is taking on a new challenge – going for the Electric car track record at Pikes Peak for the 2018 running of the Race to the Clouds.

He has driven gasoline powered cars for Porsche and Audi, diesels for Audi, and Hybrids for both. Now he is about to go all electric for Volkswagen.

Romain has always been a very busy driver, driving just about anything, anywhere and at any time.

He raced the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the CORE Autosports ORECA LMP2 car this year, finishing on the podium and was the top placing P2 car. He followed that up with a 4th place finish at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, again for CORE in the same car, and once again was the top P2 car. Following up those two outstanding performances, CORE has just secured his services for the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen at the end of June.

Between now and June, Dumas is going to be very busy. He is going to be the driver for the all new and all electric Volkswagen I.D. R prototype with which he will be making an assault on the electric vehicle track record (and possibly the overall track record) at Pikes Peak. Volkswagen couldn’t have made a better choice, for Dumas won Pikes Peak overall in 2014, 2016 and 2017, driving his own prototype.

Dumas told us: “It will be a prototype, full electric from Volkswagen. It is too early to say more, because the car is not yet finished. The target is to beat the record for electric cars, which was done some years ago.”

“So far, we have already worked a lot the past few months – our first real test will be the end of April in France. I think as soon as we test we will know the performance of the car. It is difficult right now to judge and to say something because it is so new that it is a big challenge for everybody.”

We are certain that Romain Dumas is up to the challenge. He has always taken his racing challenges head on and has done very well. He won Le Mans twice, in 2010 in the Audi R15 Plus and then again in 2016 in the Porsche 919. He also won the 12 Hours of Sebring overall in 2008, in a P2 Class Porsche RS Spyder, besting the much more powerful Audi prototypes.

Dumas has run countless races for Porsche (well over 100), and in addition to winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has won 24 hour races at Spa and Nurburgring as well.

Well known and liked by US fans, Romain enjoys racing in America. He says: “I think here (IMSA) you have the best racing for sports cars. The tracks are nice, the DPi category works very well. At Daytona we were very close to achieving what we wanted.”

His favorite US track? “Elkhart Lake, for sure, is the best track you have in the US by far and one of my favorite tracks in the world. Yes, Road America is my favorite.”

From now until the electric assault in the Volkswagen I.D. R on Pikes Peak, Dumas is going to very busy. Testing the Volkswagen in Europe, official testing at Le Mans (where he will be driving a RSR for Porsche), then the Le Mans race itself in Mid-June. Immediately following the conclusion of Le Mans, Romain will hop on a jet and fly to Colorado for Pikes Peak. After Pikes Peak, it is then directly on to Watkins Glen for the IMSA 6 Hour race for CORE. Makes you a bit weary just thinking about his upcoming schedule!

We will be following Romain’s activities closely in the following weeks and will keep you up to date on what is going to be a very busy time for him.

Good thing he doesn’t need a lot of time to recharge his batteries!

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Jack Webster has been shooting motorsports since the early 1970’s, covering Formula One, CanAm, F5000, TransAm, GrandAm and American Le Mans races, among others. In addition to his photography, he has also worked on racing teams, both in IMSA and IndyCar, so has a complete knowledge of the inner workings of motorsport. Both his photography and writing can be seen here on racingnation.com. Eddie LePine has been involved in motorsports for over 30 years as photographer, columnist, and driver. Eddie also is now a retired racer (well, retired unless a good ride pops up). You can usually find Eddie in the paddock area, deep in conversation with a driver.