‘Genius on wheels’ is the name of the exhibition at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen that honours rally racing legend Walter Röhrl on his 70th birthday. From 14 March to 14 May 2017, the Museum will be displaying numerous vehicles driven by the World Rally Championship winner as he established and cemented his reputation as the best and most versatile racer of his time in the world. The exhibition focuses on his many years of collaboration with Porsche. Röhrl has been a brand ambassador and test driver for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer since 1993. A bend on the Porsche test track at the Development Centre in Weissach will soon bear his name.
Born on March 7, 1947 in Regensburg, Röhrl has had a strong bond with his favourite brand, Porsche, his entire life. The first car he owned was a Porsche 356 B Coupé with 75bhp. He bought the car without an engine, saving every penny he could. Even as a factory driver with Ford, Opel, Fiat, Lancia and Audi, Röhrl cultivated his relationship with Porsche, including through rally drives with his own 911. Porsche secured the services of Röhrl – already a two-time World Endurance Championship winner – as a factory driver in 1981. Röhrl initially started in the German Rally Championship and drove a 911 at the Rallye San Remo in the World Rally Championship.
Walter Röhrl is one of only a few drivers in motorsport history to have won world championship races in both rally driving and motor racing. He also triumphed in every class and series – be it TransAm, IMSA, hill climbing (Pikes Peak) or the German Touring Car Championship.
With his driving skill and his ability to explain handling in a simple and precise way, Walter Röhrl continues to influence the tuning and technology of Porsche road-going sports cars to this day. Nobody embodies the Porsche philosophy of intelligent performance like Röhrl. The developments of the Porsche 959, Porsche Carrera GT and Porsche 918 Spyder super sports cars also bear his mark.
Alongside a 365 B 1600 Coupé, the special exhibition in the Porsche Museum also features the Carrera GTS Rallye “Monnet”, the 911 SC Coupé San Remo and the 924 GTP Le Mans from 1981, plus a 911 Carrera 2 Cup racing car and the legendary Carrera GT. Röhrl’s rally career is also showcased by an item on loan from the Audi Museum: Röhrl has said that the Audi S1 Group B was “the most brutal machine of my rally career.”
An exclusive film portrait of Walter Röhrl is available online now at https://www.911-magazin.de, the new online TV service from Porsche. The new format provides reports on selected Porsche topics in 9 minutes, 11 seconds.
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche