Reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Romain Dumas has given high praise to the new Norma M30, stating that the French-built LMP3 car “will soon win races.”
The former Porsche LMP1 factory driver took part in the M30’s initial tests at Pau Arnos and Nogaro last week, ahead of the car’s race debut in this month’s IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda season-opener at Sebring.
“These tests were great and very positive, I can’t say any other way,” Dumas said. “The car’s reliability is just exemplary and impressive.
“We [ran] without any stops in order to find possible [early] mistakes. In addition, even if I knew the full project and the ambitions of Norma, I was really impressed and surprised to see the high quality of finish of the car.”
Dumas, who has taken a Norma-built prototype to overall victory in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, said he was impressed with the LMP3 car’s handling characteristics straight out of the box.
“The front-end of the M30 reminded me the one of the LMP2s a few years ago,” he said. “It has a wonderful mechanical grip and we did not experience any traction issues, whether with new or old tires.
“Certainly the competitiveness will continue growing in the next weeks and months.
“With what I have experienced these days and the on growing hard work of the Norma team and drivers, I trust the M30 will soon win races.”
Norma Auto Concept founder Norbert Santos was equally pleased with the initial runs, despite having faced production delays with the first chassis.
“It was very important for us to validate the results of our work on the car, before we would deliver any car to any team,” Santos said.
“This is now done, and we are entering a new challenge for the Norma team as well as for our suppliers and sub-contractors.”
Santos said they plan to deliver more than 10 cars to customers by the end of April, with the first chassis already in Florida in preparation for the Sebring debut.
The new-look Prototype Challenge series is expected to feature LMP3 machinery from all five active constructors, including the competition debut of the new Ave-Riley AR2.
In addition to an IMSA program, at least two Normas will be on the grid in the European Le Mans Series, for Yvan Muller Racing and Oregon Team, and further entries expected in other prototype championships across Europe.