Quadruple class victory for Porsche In the 1966 rally of Monte-Carlo

Günter Klass / Rolf Wütherich 1966 Rally Monte-Carlo

The 1966 edition of the Rally of Monte-Carlo must have been the most turbulent ever. And it wasn’t the rally itself that caused the turbulence. The 1966 Rally of Monte-Carlo ended in uproar over the disqualification of 4 cars that were expected to fill the first four places. 3 Mini-Coopers (imo MäkinenRauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk) and a Ford Cortina (Roger Clark) were disqualified for faulty headlights. The disqualification elevated Pauli Toivonen (Citroen DS) into first place overall. 3 Porsche factory teams competed in the Group 3 , even though chances for an overall victory were practically zero.  

1966 Rally Monte-Carlo - Robert Buchet / Jo Schlesser
1966 Rally Monte-Carlo – Robert Buchet / Jo Schlesser

Robert Buchet and Jo Schlesser took off in their factory Porsche 911 in Monte-Carlo. The 2 other teams ( Rolf Wütherich / Günter Klass and Hans-Joachim Walter / Werner Lier) started in Bad Homburg in Germany. After arrival in Monaco, all competing teams participated in 2 main stages, each having 6 special stages. One of these stages even had to be cancelled because of heavy snowfall.  

1966 Rally Monte-Carlo - Walter / Lier
1966 Rally Monte-Carlo – Walter / Lier

The Porsche teams posted impressive results. Klass / Wütherich even recorded the fastest time in the 1st special stage. Schlesser / Buchet won the 5th stage. At the end of the 1st main stage, the duo Klass / Würtherich placed 32nd of the 83 teams that finished that stage. The 60 best placed cars started in the 2nd main stage, that took the teams in the mountains, that had turned white after fresh snow fall.  

1966 Rally Monte-Carlo - Robert Buchet / Jo Schlesser
1966 Rally Monte-Carlo – Robert Buchet / Jo Schlesser

Porsche won 3 out of 6 of the special stages. Günter Klass / Rolf Wütherich put 2 of them on their name, the french duo Buchet  / Schlesser the other one. And then the commotion started when the news came that the 4 cars finishing first were disqualified. In the rumours surrounding the qualification ,it went practically unnoticed that Porsche took a quadruple victory in Group 3, led by works drivers Klass / Würtherich. 

Porsche victory poster
Porsche victory poster

Final standings 1966 Rally Monte-Carlo Group 3

1st in class – #131  Günter Klass / Rolf Würtherich – 16th overall 
2nd in class – #57   Robert Buchet / Jo Schlesser – 18th overall 
3rd in class – #139 Hans-Joachim Walter / Werner Lier – 19th overall 
4th in class – #50    Henri Perrier / Pierre du Pasquier – 26th overall 

We recommend reading the book ‘Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo : Porsche 1952 – 1967’ by Patrick Dasse and Maurice Louche to find out more about Porsche’s exploits at the Rally of Monte-Carlo.

Pictures courtesy unknown and Porsche AG