Victory for Romain Dumas, Denis Giraudet & Porsche 911 on Tour de Corse Historique

Victory for Romain Dumas, Denis Giraudet & Porsche 911 on Tour de Corse Historique


 
After scoring their first win in 2016, the Romain Dumas / Denis Giraudet duo in a Porsche 911 won the 23rd edition of the Tour de Corse Historique achieving the scratch time in the last special stage of the rally to finish in blaze of glory!
 
 
After leaving Porto Vecchio last Tuesday, the competitors returned to the port city on Saturday. Like previous editions, the 2023 version lived up to its reputation as one of the longest and most technical historic rallies on the planet, making heavy demands on the cars and crews on a route renewed each year on Corsica’s most beautiful roads. 


This is the formula that has made it successful among competitors generating growing enthusiasm over the years to the point of setting a string of participation records. From 350 in 2021, the list of entrants increased to 380 in 2022 and 2023 with 14 countries represented this year: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and France.


Romain Dumas returned to the Tour de Corse Historique at the wheel of a self-prepared Porsche and added yet another success to an already-long list of achievements. Author of a brilliant career on circuits with two victories in the overall classification of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi, then Porsche, as well as wins in the 24 Hours of Spa, 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Gardois driver then developed a passion for rallying. A big fan of historic races, Dumas teamed up with another big name in motorsport Denis Giraudet, Didier Auriol’s former co-driver in the World Rally Championship, credited with five victories in this discipline including the Tour de Corse in 1995 before becoming European rally champion in 1996 with Armin Schwarz. 


During these four days, the winner of the 2023 edition clinched first place in seven of the fourteen special stages. “My objective in entering the Tour de Corse Historique was to show that a well-driven Porsche can win against the numerous BMW M3s. I'm happy to have achieved this against particularly well-honed opponents and local drivers who know the terrain like the back of their hand. Compared to the 2016 edition, I find that the level is much higher this year. The cars and crews that are potential victory contenders are much better prepared!”
 
 
Stopped in his tracks mid-way last year due to an engine problem that hit his BMW M3, Olivier Capanaccia associated with Audrey Nesta finished the 2023 edition in 2nd place in the overall classification winning the J2 category after showing himself to be a leading adversary as well as setting the best time in six special stages out of fourteen: “We tried to keep up the pressure on Romain Dumas until the end. Unfortunately, we lost too much time in the penultimate stage. The fact remains that I’m satisfied with our result behind a crew as experienced as Dumas/Giraudet.”


Husband and wife duo Alain and Sylvie Oreille in a Porsche 911 Carrera RS, winner of the 2022 edition, also fought until the bitter end to try to achieve a second victory on the bounce. But in vain. “This last day proved difficult for us. When I saw the leaders' times in the first stages of the day, I realised that I wouldn't be able to catch them unless fate intervened. Still, we’re satisfied with our outing again this year. Our car performed wonderfully throughout the rally. Every year I say it's my last rally, but the following year I come back!”


Fourth in the VHC general classification and 2nd in the J2 category, the Christophe Vaison/Pascal Duffour crew also crossed the finishing line with a smile on their faces. “The fight with Christophe Casanova/Stéphane Delleaux (BMW M3) continued until the last special and ended to our advantage. But beyond the sporting result, the excellent understanding between the drivers, the general atmosphere and the friendliness of the people make the Tour de Corse Historique an extraordinary rally with an incredible number of beautiful cars at the start.”


Revelation of the 2022 edition before retiring halfway through, the Florent Jean/Maxime Wilmot crew (Porsche 911) came home third in the VHC ranking (category E to J1) behind the two professional drivers Romain Dumas and Alain Oreille. The duo Christophe Casanova/Stéphane Delleaux (BMW M3) finished third in the J2 category: “We battled with Christophe Vaison from start to finish and there were never more than a few seconds between us. It was really really great!"
 
 
In VHRS (Historic Sports Regularity Vehicles), the crew Lionel Garnier/Bertrand Triffault (Porsche 912) topped the general classification all averages combined and the Moderate average. Belgians Stéphane and Thomas Blaise (VW Golf) won the Intermediate average, while the Germans Rudolf Hofmann/Axel Weinand (Alfa Romeo Giulia Super) clinched the Low average and French duo Arnaud Labessouille/Guillaume Bousquet (BMW 323i) triumphed in the High average.The Team classification went to Team Espoir against Cancer composed of the crews Pascal Perroud/Christophe Marques (Porsche 911), Jean-Michel Paret/Roland Salvi (Porsche 911 SC) and Denis Léger/Christian Boulanger (VW Golf GTI).


Beyond the sporting results, the 23rd edition of the Tour de Corse Historique will remain marked by the tragic accident that occurred on Tuesday 10th October in SS3 (Col de Bacino - Borivoli). The Organising Committee and all the competitors present their sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased spectator and provide their deepest support to the two injured people who have been hospitalised as well as to their loved ones.


Marie-Ange Dini (President of the Organising Committee): “The entire organisation and competitors of the Tour de Corse Historique were deeply affected by the death of the spectator from Porto Vecchio and by the hospitalisation of the two injured people. In this very complicated dramatic situation, we had to respect our commitments to all the crews from France and the rest of the world. We thank the competitors for their presence, their understanding and their support during this 23rd edition over which the accident that marked the first stage of the rally cast a pall.”


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