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Walter Röhrl - Genie auf Rädern

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Rallyefahrer des Millenniums Bester Rallyefahrer aller Zeiten

Rallyefahrer des Millenniums

In Frankreich wurde Walter Röhrl im November 2000 von seinen Kollegen als "Rallye-Fahrer des Millenniums" gewählt.

Hier ein Auszug aus: "Rally Yearbook 2000-2001" von Chronosport Editeur Philippe Joubin:

Walter Rohrl was voted driver of the millennium by his peers. Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Jean Ragnotti and Mik Biasion had him as their all-time great while four other voters featured him In their top three. This result is hardly a surprise, as the German was always considered the absolute reference point when he was at the height of his powers. One of the high points of an outstanding career was his four wins on the Monte Carlo Rally, with a different car each time.

As an official Fiat driver. Walter stamped his authority on the 1980 edition, at the wheel of a 131 Abarth. Two years later, he did it again in an Opel Ascona 400. which an paper was no match for the impressive Audi Quattro.

He had a little bit of help from the weather gods on this occasion as it was dry for the entire duration of the event, which meant the four wheel drive Audis lost some of their advantage. He returned to the Fiat fold in 1983, this time driving a Lancia Rally 037.
Once again the weather was kind and he left no room for hope to his team mate Markku Alen. Then, in 1984, he finally teamed up with Audi, having come dose on several occasions. This time he outpaced his team-mates Bkomquist and Mikkola in full winter conditions, which should have worked in favour of the two Scandinavians.

This series of victories was only interrupted in 1981 by Jean Ragnotti and Jean-Marc Andrie in the Renault 5 Turbo, when Rohrl did not compete. The German had decided to leave Fiat and join Mercedes. But as this constructor was suspected of cheating, it pulled out, just weeks after Rohrl had inked the contract. He had a sabbatical year, with just an odd appearance or too, including a run an the San Remo in a Porsche 911.

He also won in Greece three times, including his first ever world championship event in 1975, driving an Opel Kadett. There were two victories on the San Remo, including the '85 rally, where at the wheel of an ageing Quattro, he wiped the floor with the Peugeot 205 and Lancias to record his final victory out of a total of fourteen. Rohrl never competed in the Thousand Lakes Rally, deeming it too dangerous and something of a Scandinavian speciality. He never bothered with de RAC either, not seeing the point of trundling around on mud in the fog. These are the only two weak points in a legendary career.
However, a third place on the 82 Swedish remains one of the best finishes for a non-Scandinavian on this event. While he won 'only' two world championships in 1980 and 1982. he could easily have picked up a third if he could have been bothered. Most notably in 1983, all he would have had to was slightly increase the number of rallies he entered which he himself had limited to just six.

Rohrl reckons that today's drivers get as math pleasure out of the sport as they did in his heyday and that a win is as satisfying as it was in the 70s and 80s.

When he was asked who he thought was the best driver of the millennium, Rohrl picked Timo Makinen ahead of his old team-mate Marku Alen and Michelel Mouton. She declined to answer the question, whereas Colin McRae picked himself! No surprises when Rohrl was asked to pick the best co-driver. He opted for his former partner Christian Geistdorfer. What did you expect?
Over the past few years, Rohrl has taken part in several historic car rallies. He admitted that if a world championship was organised for these cars, run over the old routes, he would be more than happy to take part, It's a nice idea.