On the Col de Turini, a stage in the Monte Carlo rally, the clever driver must proceed with a little caution, as the roads are narrow, located along steep hillsides, and in this case, covered in ice. For this sort of situation, the rallymeister Walter Rohrl is the perfect candidate. Rohrl was always immensely quick, but he could be outpaced on occasion by wildmen like Ari Vatanen. What Rohrl used to ensure success over the long-term was his precision, his level-headedness and his incredible car control.
There wasn’t much in the way of four wheel-drive before the A2 Quattro strolled onto the scene in the early eighties, but after that, everyone was looking towards adopting the new platform. Perhaps the greatest exponent of the Quattro was Rohrl, who won the WRC twice in other cars, but is often remembered for his heroic performances in Audis. Here, he shows how to thread the needle just right in tricky conditions with an original Quattro rally machine.
Predictably, Rohrl is smooth and precise, and only slides as much as is absolutely necessary. In typical Prussian style, he is neat and tidy, avoiding the slippery bits and depressing the throttle very progressively. As a result, he approaches the limit very gently, and can still steer the car with mild understeer. The only time the car appears to step out of line is in the middle of a few corners, where he uses braking pressure to help rotate the rear and get it pointed in the right direction with an almost imperceptible amount of oversteer. This mixture of purpose and style is distinctly Rohrl, and if there is one sixty-nine-year-old who can still wring the neck of a hardcore, eighties rally beast, it’s this man.