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advanced driver training with walter rohrl

as some of you know i had the chance to participate in an advanced driving
course sponsored by the audi importer with a group of 4 instructors from
germany and headed by none other than 'her' walter rorhl aka the man.  my
memories of him go back to rally spectating in the early 80's, particularly of
the group 'b' quattros.

the cars used for the exercise were a6's, the 2.4 and 2.8 fwd and quattro's. 
there was a new s8 and a demo s8 lhd especially imported from germany for

the exercises consisted of a number of high speed abs braking and lane change
manoeuvres, oversteering control manoeuvres, and high speed non braking 'panic'
car control.  all very useful and a good 'tune up' of your skills.  the
afternoon consisted of a series of timed laps of a coned course which started
with a rh kink, a lh sweeper tightening into a narrow exit and 90 degree rh
chicance, a short straight and then a 100m slalom, a hairpin, another 100m
slalom, a lh 90 degree chicance, a wide lh sweeper, a tightening slalom, rh
sweeper and then a straight to the finish.

walter took all 25 participants around in the s8 at "maximum attack", and we
practised in the fwd cars, followed by timed laps in the a6 2.8 quattro.  3
seconds were deducted for each cone displaced.

you'll be pleased to know that i upheld the honour of the list by coming 2nd
with no cones displaced.  mark petch, ex racer (bathurst, tranz-am, wellington)
was first 1.5 seconds (!) faster than me.  i beat a couple of gentlemen racers
though which i was pretty pleased about.

highlight though was getting walter to punt my 20v ur-quattro around the course
with yours truly inside.  i then drove while he commented.  he has a smooth
style, with early turn-in, crisp apexes, and excellent braking.  his time was 4
seconds up on mine for the course (1:32).  it was the measure of the man that i
did about 4 laps with him in various cars, and he timed each one with his own
watch, and each one was within 1/2 a second of the others...

at the end of it, i asked him if he would mind autographing the drivers sun
visor on the ur-quattro and he obliged.  i was stoked, i now have a pretty
unique momento of a unique day!!!!!

'95 rs2
'90 ur-q