The amazing Walter Rohrl
I’ve been a massive Walter Rohrl fan since March, 1980, when in thick fog he pulled out a lead of 4min 59sec on the second Arganil stage to win the Rally of Portugal with his Fiat 131 Abarth. Walter was peering out the side window for most of that night, driving with total commitment, but also with touch and feel and phenomenal car control, as his navigator, Christian Geistdorfer, yelled out the pace notes. Carlos Reutemann, below, who met Walter that year through his Fiat connections, was so impressed with the feat that he later taped the word “Arganil” onto the steering wheel of his Williams FW07B-Cosworth.
Fast-forward to August, 2017: Walter Rohrl, now a Porsche man, is taking us for a lap of the Nurburgring long circuit in a 1979 rally-spec 911 (minus any electronic gizmos, in other words – as per that historic, Arganil era). Walter, without gloves and wearing 1979 period overalls, is particularly impressive, I think, through the Wippermann section just before Pflantzgarten (approx 6:55-7:10) – a fast rise-and-fall combination that Reutemann, who won the 1975 German GP at the Nurburgring, always felt was the most demanding of the 15-mile lap.
The video comes to us courtesy of FIVA (Federation of Classic Vehicles) and Pirelli.