Walter Röhrl


Walter Röhrl

WRC driver
Name = Walter Röhrl


Caption = Röhrl in 2003.
Nationality = flagicon|GER German
Years = 1973 - 1987
Teams = Fiat, Opel, Lancia, Audi
Races = 75
Championships = 2 (1980, 1982)
Wins = 14
Podiums = 31
Stagewins = 420
Points = 494
First race = 1973 Monte Carlo Rally
First win = 1975 Acropolis Rally
Last win = 1985 San Remo Rally
Last race = 1987 Acropolis Rally

Walter Röhrl (born March 7 1947 in Regensburg) is a German rally and auto racing driver, with victories for Fiat, Opel, Lancia and Audi as well as Porsche, Ford and BMW.

Career

At the age of 16, Röhrl began working for the Bishop of Regensburg, and soon became a driver who covered about 120,000 km annually as the bishop's driver. Having also now been active in sports like skiing, he was invited to drive his first rally in 1968.

Röhrl was a World Rally Championship favorite throughout the 1970s and 1980s, winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times with four different marques. His Fiat 131 Abarth carried him to the 1980 title, but it was arguably his equivalent success in 1982 that impressed most of all, with Röhrl fending off audacious four-wheel drive opposition, led by Audi's resurgent Michèle Mouton, to take the title, by virtue of consistency, in his increasingly outmoded rear-drive Opel Ascona 400. It was also during this time that he won the African Rally Championship, in 1982. [ [http://www.africanrallychampionship.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=65&Itemid=80 African Rally Championship Website - PastChampions ] ]

In 1983, he joined Lancia to pilot the new, rear-wheel drive Lancia 037, before finally changing his machinery, in 1984, to the four-wheel drive Audi Quattro, an automobile actually incidentally produced in his home state of Bavaria.

Despite being selective in his choice of top-level events, albeit during a time when this was a less unusual occurrence for top-line drivers in the championship, he still scored 14 WRC victories in his career.

Röhrl was also successful in road racing events, and called "Genius on Wheels" by Niki Lauda. In an early 1990s 24 Hours Nürburgring race which saw fog and heavy rain in the night, he hardly slowed down, anticipating the corners by timing. The race was nevertheless interrupted for hours.

In Italy, he was elected "Rallye driver of the century". In France he was elected "Rallye driver of the millenium" in November 2000. A jury out of 100 worldwide motorsports experts elected him "Best Rallye driver ever" in Italy.

In recent years, he has been retained as the senior test driver for Porsche road cars, famously setting quick laptimes for them testing round the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, for example with the Porsche Carrera GT.

References

External links

* http://www.roehrl-walter.de


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