Romain Dumas wins Le Mans one week, Pikes Peak the next

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Romain Dumas was part of the surprise winning trio at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, co-driving the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid with Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, after the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid suffered turbo failure that resigned it to a non-classified finish.

Then, Dumas promptly went out and won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in a Honda-powered car.

Here’s the release from Honda, below:

Started as an after-hours project by a small team of Honda Performance Development engineers, an HPD-built Honda engine today propelled Romain Dumas to the summit of Pikes Peak ahead of a talented field to win the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the second time in the last three years.

The Honda powerplant propelled Dumas to the top of the 14,115-foot mountain in a time of 8:51.445 (81.288 mph), marking just the second car ever to cover the 12.42-mile road course in less than nine minutes. Rhys Millen would later join Dumas in getting under nine minutes, but his time of 8:57.118 left him more than five seconds behind the leader.

“I pushed hard early in the race and didn’t make any mistakes, which put us in great position for the last part of the course,” Dumas reported. “We didn’t get to practice the upper part of the course so I was being quite careful on the last section.”

The victory for Dumas caps a week that started when the Frenchman won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, then crossed the Atlantic Ocean to compete in the Unlimited category in the 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Honda has been a sponsor of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in recent years and has seen many of its associates compete in the races in a myriad of Honda vehicles.

“It has been a dream to win both of these races, and now it has come true,” Dumas said. “A lot of people were pushing really hard to make this happen and this is what happens when you work hard. We all pushed and put in long hours and our car and our power were great.”

The victory marked the 15th consecutive year that Honda has earned a class win at Pikes Peak covering not only Honda Performance Development (HPD) engines, but also Honda auto and motorcycle products.

“Congratulations to Romain Dumas on breaking the nine-minute barrier and setting the fastest time of the 100th anniversary Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb,” said HPD Vice President and COO Steve Eriksen. “Today’s achievement added to our list of wins at “100th’s” following Honda’s win last month at the 100th Indy 500. The Honda engine that again powered Romain’s Norma chassis started several years ago as an after-hours project of one of our Honda Performance Development engineers, Aaron Hale. It is both a demonstration of the passion that Honda engineers have for racing as well as the outright performance of Honda engines in competition.”