Walter Röhrl’s one-off drive in the 1981 San Remo is more or less worshipped by the most devout bobble-hatters, as he and Geistdörfer almost took a deeply against-the-odds victory against far more powerful and all-wheel-drive competition. Only a broken driveshaft deprived them of taking the win from Michele Mouton’s Audi Quattro.
Röhrl and Geistdörfer very nearly won that San Remo Rally, after a comeback that would have been one for the ages. Röhrl and Geistdörfer were up against a field of faster, more powerful four-wheel-drive cars in their rear-wheel-drive Porsche 911 SC, and somehow managed to pull within an eyelash of victory. Unfortunately, a broken driveshaft forced the pair to retire, leaving Michele Mouton’s Audi Quattro to run away with the race.
The car that Röhrl drove in the 1981 San Remo rally was thrown together last minute because he was without a drive until just before the start of the race. The ill-fated San Remo run was the car’s only outing in professional competition. For this year’s Targa Tasmania, the car was found in a garage and restored to its 1981 competition specification.
“We only entered that 911 SC in one rally, the San Remo. It was a last-minute thing. Some engineers at Porsche helped prepare this car for me because I was without a drive,” recalled Röhrl.