Romain Dumas, Porsche works driver, Le Mans 24H, 2016
Born: 14th December 1977
Where: Alès, France
Lives: Basel, Switzerland
Marital Status: Partner Elysia, one son (Gabin)
Height/Weight: 1.74 m/62 kg
Hobbies: Rallying, jet-ski, jogging, squash
A full season in the FIA World Endurance Championship as a Porsche works driver, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is simply not enough for the Frenchman. At the beginning of the year, Romain Dumas also likes to take on a private mission, fighting his way through the desert at the Dakar Rally. In 2015 alone, he also tackled three rounds of the World Rally Championship (Monte Carlo, Germany and France) as well as a European Rally Championship round (Cyprus). In earlier days, he also competed on the breathtaking Macau street circuit and at Pikes Peak. At the famous international hill climb in Colorado in 2014, he clinched the overall win in a prototype, after conquering 19.99-kilometres with 156 corners, and a 1,400-metre climb to Pikes Peak at 4,300 metres.
“I blow all the money I make as a company driver on my private events,” admits the man from Alès in the south of the French Cévennes.“Long distance racing is what I do for a living. Hill climbing and rallying are what I do for fun, I’m passionate about both.”
What else could he have become? He grew up with Porsche. His father drove a Porsche in the European Hill Climb championships. “I was still small, but my father sat me in a 962 Le Mans racing car. He closed the door and I thought: Wow, is this an aeroplane?”
Romain Dumas has clocked up seven overall wins at 24-hour races, the Le Mans successes have come in the Audi together with Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller in 2010, four at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and two at the circuit in Spa with Porsche.
He calls Le Mans his second home. He won a young talent competition here at 16, and just stayed on. He went to school in Le Mans, made new friends, found sponsors and sat his driving licence there. Since then every year he has been collecting his racing licence from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organiser of the 24-hour race. Le Mans is always different, always dramatic. This is where the Mediterranean character meets the Atlantic low pressure trough, so it tends to rain heavily and persistently at the 24-hour race. Dumas knows every inch of it, and 2016 marks his 16th time there.
The GTE-Pro class victory in the Porsche 911 RSR in 2013 was one of his ambitions. “My ultimate dream,” said the funster, now deadly serious, “is to score overall victory here with Porsche.” Patriotism also has its part to play. “For a Frenchman,” he explains, “Le Mans is always going to be the greatest, because it is so hard to win. The manufacturers and the world think so too.”
He knows only too well that nobody can conquer Le Mans alone. “Yes, you have to be fast. But you also have to be a team player, careful with the car, and you need the best team. If just one of these aspects is missing, it’s not going to work.” For the third consecutive year, he shared a Porsche 919 Hybrid with Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.
Romain Dumas competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, in a Porsche 919 Hybrid for the Porsche Team.
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