Goodwood: Audi newsletter 2009-05-01

Milton Keynes -- Former double world rally champion Walter Rohrl and six-time Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Jacky Ickx will attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer to drive two icons of Audi's extensive motorsport...

Milton Keynes -- Former double world rally champion Walter Rohrl and six-time Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Jacky Ickx will attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer to drive two icons of Audi's extensive motorsport heritage.

Germany's Rohrl and Ickx, from Belgium, drive an original flame-belching 1986 Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak rallycar and a rare 1936 Auto Union C-Type Grand Prix single-seater respectively at the Festival -- an annual event staged over 3-5 July.

Audi, the "featured marque" at this year's event staged days before the German manufacturer celebrates its Centenary (16 July), is planning a "car fest" for attending enthusiasts with a mouth-watering line-up of past and present competition machinery plus its latest concept cars for the road.

Rohrl is still revered today as "the greatest rally driver of all time". The 62-year-old who won the 1980 and '82 World Rally Championship titles and scored 14 WRC victories spanning 12 years, drove for Audi from 1984.

Elected "Rally driver of the century" in Italy, "Rally driver of the millennium" in France and described as a "Genius on Wheels" by Niki Lauda, Rohrl nowadays is a representative of Porsche AG and has been given special permission to appear at Goodwood with Audi Tradition.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the cars I drove during my time with Audi," confirmed Walter. "I am especially happy to sit in the Audi Pikes Peak car again. In addition, to be at Goodwood, will be a big experience for me."

In his heyday as an Audi "factory" driver, Rohrl drove both rally and racing cars which have long since achieved legendary status including the Audi quattro A2, which he drove to victory in his first outing for Audi in the 1984 Monte Carlo Rally and the "short" Audi Sport quattro. Walter was the only person to win WRC event -- the 1985 San Remo Rally -- in the Audi Sport quattro S1, the last generation of the Sport quattro.

After Audi's withdrawal from rallying in 1986, Rohrl moved with Audi to the race tracks of the United States where he drove the Audi 200 quattro TransAm and the Audi 90 quattro IMSA-GTO to victory.

Arguably the most unforgettable triumph in Walter's Audi career came on Pikes Peak -- a 12.5-mile, 156-corner hill climb in Colorado featuring sheer drops off the narrow and winding, rocky track to the 14,000 feet summit.

On the Audi Sport quattro S1's very last outing, Rohrl smashed all records in the United States' most famous hill climb named the "Race to the Clouds". In a breathtaking drive, he became the first person to climb the 6,500ft course in under 11 minutes, consequently leaving his indelible mark on motorsport history.

The spectacular be-winged Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak that Rohrl will drive at Goodwood features a 2.1-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine producing over 600bhp.

Ickx, meanwhile, was the record Le Mans 24 Hour race winner until Audi's Tom Kristensen surpassed the 64-year-old's tally of six victories in 2005. Jacky, who also achieved 25 podium place finishes in Formula One, drives a 1936 Auto Union C-Type lovingly and expertly rebuilt in 1998 by Crosthwaite & Gardiner of Buxted, East Sussex, one of the most highly-regarded names in the ultra-specialised area of racecar restoration.

The V16-engined "Silver Arrow" was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 220mph despite its colossus 1,000kg weight with the C-Type's engine churning out an impressive 520bhp.

Auto Union all but dominated Grand Prix racing from 1934 onwards and set records that took decades to beat. For example, the power levels of the unlimited 1937 models were only equalled in the early 1980s by turbocharged Formula One Grand Prix cars.

Almost all of the original race cars were lost during or after World War II. Audi has since rebuilt the cars that have been found based upon remaining parts, plans and knowledge.

-credit: audi uk

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series VINTAGE