Test your knowledge: What Audi quattro driver was the first woman to win a world championship rally?

Showing the boys how to do it

Michele Mouton Audi Quattro

THE QUATTRO may have been the car that really put Audi on the map for car enthusiasts, but it couldn’t have done it without the star drivers that kept it on its wheels and won two world rally championships driving it. One of those drivers happened to be female.

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In 1985 she went one better than winning world championship rallies and won the Pikes Peak hillclimb – also known as “the Race to the Clouds” because of the steep ascent of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Here’s what she remembers of that drive:

“This is a challenge. You don’t want to go down … you want to stay on the road! At the top you have four corners, which are flat-out except for the second one. But I was so motivated I decided not to lift. I felt the car really pushing me and you think, ‘Shit, I will go there [over the edge].’ I tell you, you are very close to … I had this feeling I was right there, so the feelings were very hot, I would say.”

And her name?

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Michele Mouton Audi Quattro at Pikes Peak

That driver was Michèle Mouton. And there isn’t much more to say other than she was an inspiration to her fans. Here’s a film of that 1995 victory at Pikes Peak, a mountain drive on gravel and dust roads without a crash barrier in sight.