Carlos Reutemann in the WRC: Drift, maestro!

The memory of Lole's performances in the 1980 and 1985 Rally Argentina.

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No one can dispute the talent of Carlos Alberto Reutemann behind the wheel of a racing car. Perhaps the best example of this are their 12 wins in Formula 1, with the 1981 runner-up included, and his two podiums in the World Rally Championship in the 1980 and 1985 editions of the Rally Argentina.

Santa Fe's first foray into the WRC coincided with the debut of the Argentine test within the category calendar. With a Fiat 131 Abarth finished third in the competition that was held on roads in the provinces of Tucuman y Catamarca And what did the German win? Walter Röhrl with a similar car.

Carlos Reutemann
The santafesino demanding the maximum from the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16.

He made that experience in the middle of his campaign in La Máxima and only a couple of months after his sparkling victory at the Monaco Grand Prix over a Williams-Ford.

Although his participation was aimed at promoting the first edition of the Rally Argentina, which over time became a classic of the specialty, Reutemann brought to light that experience acquired in his first years of motorsport on Tourism vehicles.

On the basis of regularity and good partials, he reached the end of the race 46 minutes behind Röhrl and half an hour behind the second, the Finn Hannu mikkola (Mercedes Benz 500 SLC).

Reutemann's second experience was when he was already retired, although with his talent intact. This time he repeated third place with a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 and by roads of the province of Cordova.

Carlos Reutemann
Lole with Jean Todt, then head of Peugeot Sport.

The possibility of racing again in the World Rally Championship arose from an initiative of the French Jean Todt, current president of the International Automobile Federation and that at that time he was responsible for Peugeot official team.

Reutemann - always very picky about details - accepted the invitation after looking at the blueprints for the car while Peugeot Sport was building it.

That 205 T16 was framed within the regulation of Group B. In other words, it was a real beast. Maybe that's why the Santa Fe always claimed that it was one of the best cars he drove.

"It is a true formula and, technically, revolutionary for its engine, weight distribution, suspension settings and geometry", the Lole analyzed at that moment.

Although he lost between two and three seconds per kilometer in the first stage, then he took the pace of the test - and the car - and finished third half an hour behind the winner, his Finnish teammate. Timo Salonen; and 13 minutes into the second, the Austrian Wilfried Wiedner (Audi quattro A2).

With these results, Carlos Alberto Reutemann demonstrated his ductility behind the wheel of a vehicle and, at the same time, made history by becoming the only driver who raced in Formula 1 and was on the podium in the WRC.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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