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Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 4x4
Rallye Paris-Dakar 1984: Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 4×4 (Type 953) – driven by (from L-R) #175 Jacky Ickx, #176 René Metge, #177 Roland Kussmaul

For many years, the éminence grise of Porsche’s competition department, but now in retirement, Roland Kussmaul seems busier than ever. He left Porsche officially at the end of 2008, but our attempts to meet him were thwarted for several years by his amazingly busy schedule. More recently, we were luckier: despite a programme still just as full, he found time to meet us at his home in the charming village of Eberdingen, a convenient five miles from Weissach.

Roland Kussmaul
Roland Kussmaul, ca. 1972

Now at 79 years of age, Roland Kussmaul explains that he has finally stopped travelling as much as he used to. Essentially, this most dynamic of pensioners, was for thirty years at the heart of Porsche’s American Le Mans programme as well as helping with the independent Lizard team. This commitment entailed for example thirteen trips to the US in eight months in 2012. Kussmaul is retained as a consultant to Porsche Motorsport and still meets his old friend, Olaf Manthey, who has long managed a ‘semi-official’ Porsche works team.

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