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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Killer B: This one is for the ladies

"It's like a ballet, it's like a dance. It's fantastic."
-Michele Mouton

Michele Mouton, the Quickest Woman in the World.

So apparently, we're rolling with a rally theme this week.

In our last post, Danny Chin described Group B Rally as, "the most terrifying yet awe-inspiring motor racing showcase of the past 30 years."

If words were hardly worthy of the spectacle that is the huge-turbo Group B rally era of the 80s, then how do I begin?

The French woman you see above, with the fierce eyes, gentle lips and soft hair, is Michele Mouton. She has the beauty of a Chanel model and the posture of an activist. However, Michele chose the challenge that is Group B WRC.

Her blade of choice was the Audi Ur-Quattro, the most iconic race car of WRC history. A car that some men wouldn't even dare look at when it's tearing through forest and gravel at 10/10, Michele piloted her Audi to victory at the '81 Rallye Sanremo round of the World Rally Championship. Again, she would finish the 1982 WRC second overall after rival Walter Rohrl. In 1984, she became the first woman to win the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, one of the most historic races in the United States. Finally, she wins Pikes again in 1985 (two consecutive years!), and broke the climb record.

Michele Mouton is the most successful and the greatest female driver of all time. Full stop.

Then, like the brightest stars that burn quickest, Michele retires from her rally driving career the moment Group B got banned in 1986... but what a legacy did she leave behind.

*Here's a bit of gossip:

After Michele Mouton had won the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 1985, Bobby Unser was especially outspoken with his frustration that the record time, which his family held for over three generations, was beaten by a "French woman in a German car."

Michele Mouton is said to have quipped: “If you have the balls, you can try to race me back down as well.”


  1. Hahah, the gossip bit took the cake. My kind of woman!

  2. Michele was by far the best female race driver to date. Fought it out, straight up and toe-to-toe, right to the end in a true World Championship series. Much respect from those who know their stuff. Much.

  3. Thank you for posting this excellent little tribute to a hugely impressive woman - including the nicest photo I've ever seen of her (superbly and wittily interpreted by you, if I may say so, with your Chanel model / activist line). Michele had - and actually still has - an unrivalled combination of skill, courage, grace, class ... and (in the best possible sense) balls!

    Thankfully, she is still very active in the sport - through her role in establishing the Race of Champions event and now as the FIA's Manager in the World Rally Championship. But of course nothing she ever does will rival the sight (and glorious sound) of her tearing around the special stages 30 years ago in the Sport Quattro S1 E2 - magnificent and unforgettable.