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Of Defiance and Diplomacy

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Of Defiance and Diplomacy

Their experiences and exploits could fill volumes. Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer have competed in nearly every major car rally. But they’ve yet to drive the Mille Miglia together. They’ll enter it tomorrow.

He beat them all up. Anyone who made fun of his red hair. “I didn’t let them get away with anything. That gave me strength for the rest of my life,” says Walter Röhrl, who was usually allowed to leave school in the Bavarian city of Regensburg ten minutes before class was over at the end of the day.


His teachers were too concerned that he would be teased and respond by landing some well-placed blows. And he’s kept that boldness into adulthood. “At the Monte Carlo Rally I showed them who’s boss!” There’s only one person who’s ever been able to dictate his course—codriver Christian Geistdörfer, with whom he entered rallies from 1977 to 1987.


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Date Posted: May 18, 2018