And he’s still the second-most successful racing and rally driver in Argentina after Juan Manuel Fangio, which is no bad thing to have on your CV either.
Reutemann’s first Rally Argentina, in 1980, started off from Tucuman with the local hero holding third place from the opening day in his factory Fiat 131, eventually finishing on the podium behind rally legends Walter Rohrl and Hannu Mikkola.
He was back again for a second attempt in 1985, seeded as car number one in a works Peugeot 205 T16. This time he had to fight for his podium, on a rally that became infamous for Ari Vatanen’s near-fatal accident in an identical car. The winner that year was Timo Salonen, but he was practically ignored at the finish compared to the ecstatic reception that was given to ‘Lole’.
He wasn’t universally loved by everyone though. Heading into the final grand prix of the 1981 season at Las Vegas, Reutemann was leading the Formula One World Championship by one point. Only Nelson Piquet, driving a Brabham, could beat him. When asked which one he would rather see win the title Alan Jones - Reutemann’s Williams team mate and nemesis at the time, not to mention a quintessentially straight-talking Australian - simply replied: “Don’t care mate. Can’t stand either of them...”
It would take more than 25 years before another active Formula One driver (albeit one taking a brief sabbatical at the time) scored points in the WRC: the inimitable “Iceman”, Kimi Raikkonen.