GERMAN RALLY LEGEND
Walter Röhrl was destined to be a skier and ski instructor, until a friend noticed his amazing car control while on a trip through the Bavarian Forest Alps, and encouraged him to go racing. One of his first drives in 1967 was in a lowly Fiat 850, but he proved in that car that power wasn’t always necessary in rallying when you had immense driving skills.
Working his way up through the ranks during the late ’60s and early ’70s, it was the 1972 Olympic rally where his talents were first brought to a wider audience and from then on, the works drives were on offer.
Joining up with Christian Geistdörfer as co-driver in the mid-’70s was the next key ingredient in Walter’s story and from 1977 to 1987 the pair won many World Rally Championship events including the title in 1980 and 1982, and the extreme Monte Carlo Rally four times.
In 1987, Röhrl was the first to drive Pike’s Peak hillclimb in less than 11 minutes and Nikki Lauda called him a ‘genius on wheels’ when he drove a foggy Le Mans 24 Hour race by timing the corners in his head rather than by vision.
Throughout his career Walter drove BMWs, Fiats, Audi Quattros and even the Lancia 037 in the madness of the Group B era, but it was in this Capri that he really shot to fame on just one rally in 1972.