Meet the Legends of Pikes Peak
We're off to the famous race this weekend and these are the people that make Race to the Clouds smashing
Posted: 08 Aug 2012
25 years ago, Walter Rohrl plotted an incredibly sideways course through 156 turns to the 4,301 metre summit of the legendary Pikes Peak hillclimb. And back in 1987 there wasn't a whiff of tarmac in sight.
Which meant that, should Audi have provided you with truly epic 600bhp, 1000kg Sport Quattro, balloon-sized manparts were required. Especially if you managed to climb the course in a then-record-breaking 10:47:85. Even more especially when there wasn't a single guardrail.
Rohrl says: "I had no experience. I arrived five days before the start. I rented a car and drove up with my wife. The speed limit was 30 miles per hour. I went up and down, trying to memorize the road. It was not easy. There were no trees."
Ari Vatanen, Peugeot's Finnish rally ace, was also at the '87 event, and when Röhrl spoke to him before - bearing in mind the French firm had rented the hill for a week before - he said it was an utterly confounding course. Röhrl recalls: "He said he had driven it 50 times and he still was not sure".
Watch his incredible run here