A huge honour has been bestowed on German motor racing legend Walter Röhrl: on 30 January, he became the first rally driver and non-Formula 1 world champion to be inducted into the motorsport hall of fame. The ceremony took place yesterday evening at the headquarters of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in Paris.
Born in Regensburg, Bavaria, Röhrl (71) began his rally career in 1968, driving private vehicles. He became a factory driver in 1972, and established himself amongst the world’s elite straight away: Röhrl won the Monte Carlo Rally four times in total, driving four different marques, and was world rally champion twice. He entered the 1981 German Rally Championship driving a Porsche 924, and also drove a Porsche 911 in the World Championship race in San Remo that year; it was also during the 1980s that he began assisting with the development of Porsche sports cars, starting with the Porsche 964 Carrera 4 all-wheel drive.
Highlights of Röhrl’s involvement with development and fine-tuning include the Porsche 959, Carrera GT and 918 Spyder super cars. In addition, Röhrl has been active around the world as a Porsche brand ambassador since 1993.