ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM THE CHE GUEVARA ENERGY DRINK TOUR DE CORSE WAS THAT OF ROMAIN DUMAS BLASTING THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS IN HIS PORSCHE 997 GT3. After the headline World Rally Cars had passed through the stages, fans waited to catch a glimpse of the R-GT class car as it threaded its way around the sinuous roads on the Mediterranean island.
And if there was one thing better than the sight of the Porsche, it was the throaty bark of the glorious four-litre, six-cylinder engine echoing off the rock faces.
Dumas, a successful sports car racer who won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010 for Audi and the 2016 edition for Porsche, is also a highly accomplished rally driver. The 39-year-old Frenchman has competed in the Dakar Rally and asphalt WRC events in his long career.
He finished second in the FIA R-GT Cup in 2015 and leads the 2017 standings after claiming maximum points in the opening round at Rallye Monte-Carlo and again in Corsica last weekend alongside Patrick Chiappe. They finished almost five minutes ahead of François Delecour.
The all-asphalt R-GT Cup mixes rounds from the WRC and FIA European Championship. After the two WRC fixtures, the series concludes with ERC rounds in the Czech Republic, Italy and Switzerland.
Although Porsches only appear in private hands now in rallying, the German firm’s works team enjoyed success in the WRC. Jean-Pierre Nicolas won the 1978 Rallye Monte-Carlo in a 911 Carrera and Jean-Luc Therier claimed the Tour de Corse two years later in a 911 SC.