Double world champion Walter Rohrl is the only German to have won the WRC drivers’ title and was one of the sport’s biggest
names during Audi’s Group B domination in the 1980s.
His driving career got off to an unorthodox start when as a teenager he worked as a chauffeur for the bishop in his home town of Regensburg, clocking up thousands of kilometres on the roads of Bavaria.
He started his first rally in 1968 at the age of 21, and won his first WRC rally, the 1973 Acropolis, in an Opel Ascona.
In 1977 Rohrl became a factory driver for Fiat and was part of the 131 Abarth driving squad which earned the Italian company the manufacturers’ title in 1977, 1978 and 1980 - the year he also secured his first drivers’ title.
In 1981 he returned to Opel and the following year took a second world title in a rear-wheel drive Ascona 400 after a sensational David and Goliath style battle with the more sophisticated four-wheel drive Audi Quattro of Michèle Mouton.
A successful spell with Lancia in 1983 was followed by a switch to Audi in 1984 where Rohrl became one of the few drivers to tame the ultimate evolution of the Sport Quattro, the 550bhp E2 - a car which the usually calm and reserved Rohrl described as the most mind-blowing of his career.
Following Audi’s withdrawal from the WRC in 1986, Rohrl continued to work with the German company in an advisory role and as a driver on other events, like the Pikes Peak hillclimb, which he won with a 600bhp Sport Quattro S1 in 1987.
Nowadays, Rohrl spends much of his time pounding the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife in his role as senior test driver for Porsche.