From zero to one of the best rally drivers of all time
He actually only wanted to win the rally of Monte Carlo Rallye once. But he ended up winning it four times. To boot, he won two world championships and the European as well. Walter Röhrl, who turned 70 on March 7th, 2017, is still today considered one of the best rallye car drivers of all time.
The fact that he won the Rallye of Monte Carlo with four different cars proves his unique skill. “A car is fast enough when you are scared to unlock the door in the morning!“ – is a typical quote from one of the all-time masters behind the wheel.
“The Porsche 911 is the culprit for me becoming a professional,“ according to Walter Röhrl. “One of my first private rallyes was with an old ‘11 with 120,000 kilometers on the dial – it was a key moment, still before I had received my contract with Ford. The ‘11, with the engine in the back, had a lot of traction making it ideal for rallyes.“
The old-school, lanky man from Regensburg has always told it like it is and is still a great interview for journalists.
Fans have had some of his quotes printed onto T-Shirts, a guarantee he will not soon be forgotten. Here a short selection:
„Acceleration is when the tears of emotion run horizontally towards your ears.“
„If you see the tree you run into it means you have understeered. If you hear the tree you oversteered.“
„Oversteering is when the passenger is afraid, understeering is when I am afraid.“
„Drifting is the art of holding an unstable condition stable.“
„When you get as old as I am, driving in the dark isn’t fun anymore because you can’t see anything in the dark. I have been wondering a lot lately whether I could still compete in the world championships because they are held during the day ... what a bunch of wimps!“
Today Röhrl lives with his wife Monika in Sankt Englmar in the Bavaria Forest. Health and taking a few trips are what counts he says. Still as modest and down-to-earth as always, the passionate cyclist and skier is also still active professionally as a test driver and representative of Porsche for whom he conducts winter driving trainings in Scandinavia and Austria. Currently, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart is honoring him with a special exposition.
There are many stories and images from his moving life to be found in his new book, "WR70" from the Delius Klasing Publishing House.
Proof of picture: © Ferdi Kräling / from: WR70