Walter Röhrl/Audi Quattro S1/Pikes Peak/1987

"Walter Röhrl, the reserved perfectionist, was a virtually unknown European as far as American racing fans were concerned, and was taking part at Pikes Peak for the first time. But the dominance with which he took control of proceedings from the outset was evidence of his exceptional talent.

On 11 July 1987, the day of the race, the organisers made the drivers start the race in the reverse order of their results in qualifying. Vatanen brought up the rear of the field, with Röhrl one place in front of him. The man from Regensburg, always calm and collected at the wheel, conquered the world’s most elevated highway in a new world record time of 10:47:85 minutes. He reached sixth gear in the S1 on four occasions, and at the quickest point of the track was measured at a speed of 196 km/h. Röhrl took each of the 156 corners with razor-sharp precision and performed full power-slides around the hairpin bends; sometimes the edge of the car was actually hanging over the precipice.”

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