At the moment of writing, your servant is in the midst of moving house, and this means of course packing these old photos and whole archives. Invariably, lots of sweet memories come off the shelves, photos and lots of period automotive documentation.
Going through the photos, I stumbled on a photo of my encounter with Michele Mouton, at the press presentation in St. Moritz of the Quattro version of the B2 Audi 80 Sedan, in the mid-eighties. Here I stand with her in the snow in St. Moritz.
These were legendary press presentations, with the journalists being driven on luxurious waons-lits train from Zurich airport to St Moritz, having a fantastic lunch (and drinks!) on the train, with the test cars going with us on freight wagons on the same train... We were then invited to drive the cars through the snow covered alpine roads to St Moritz.
Driving our test car out of the Badrutt's Palace Hotel in St. Moritz...
The next day, we were to have driving demonstrations with Michele Mouton and Stig Blomqvist. I had a long and interesting chat with Michele, but eventually I had a drive in the Quattro rally car with Stig Blomqvist at the wheel instead of Michele. I remember having asked her what the difference was between a male and female top rally driver, if there was any. "yes there are some, and maybe it results in different adrenaline levels.”she answered. “Of course, I will also get carried away by things like the staccato sound of the engine, or the whole atmosphere of competition when drivng a special stage” she continued. “But men will keep their foot down on a blind hill on a narrow road, come what may. I will just lift the throttle a bit, albeit briefly"
I could understand that fully. I also recall young Audi engineer Ferdinand Piech at the press conference. He showed amply his brilliant talents. I remember sitting with him at the breakfast table in the Badrutt's Palace Hotel on the Via Serlas in St. Moritz. "I hope you asked the waiter to let your eggs boil a little longer" he asked me with his characteristic smile. " They reach their boiling point a bit sooner because of the altitude, at a lower temperature..."
But there is more, I uncovered also the photos of my participation of the 1994 edition of the Mille Miglia, with by father, in the works Mercedes 180 Diesel. Just wait for the next editorial for some photos and a separate report about this race...
Hans Knol ten Bensel