Vijay Pattni30 July 2012

Walter Röhrl not going to Pikes Peak

It’s official, sadly: Audi confirms rallying icon will not pilot classic Audi S1 up the mountain

Had Walter Röhrl never become the chauffeur for the Bishop of his home town of Regensburg when he was a mere teenager, he might have considered a career in ballet, or tap dancing.

Because judging by his dazzling skills in the video below, the man is gifted with a preternatural ability for deft footwork. Turns out he's also quite handy with the steering wheel too.

Why are we showing you this? Because sadly, Audi has confirmed to TopGear.com that Herr Röhrl will not be participating in this year's rescheduled Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Thus, there won't be a repeat of the kind of footwork you, as a member of the Not Walter Röhrl Driving Club, are unable to perform. Ever.

Gallery: Riding with Röhrl

Of course, we can thank the Gods of Driving that Röhrl clocked up those early kilometres driving the Bishop around Bavaria, because that eventually led to him his first rally seat in 1968 - aged just 21 - and later, to his first rally victory in the 1973 Acropolis in an Opel Ascona.

He would later drive for Fiat, take his first driver's title in 1980, his second in '82 (after a battle with Michele Mouton) before moving to Audi in 1984 where he managed to domesticate the Sport Quattro.

And just watch how he manages to make it look both utterly complicated and completely mesmerising with footwork that literally dances over the pedals. As TG's Sam Philip found out when he rode shotgun in the old Audi up the Col de Torini, you might think you can drive until you see what Walter is made of.

Have a watch of the videos, and then tell us your favourite Röhrl moment in the comment box underneath. Greatest rally driver ever?

 

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