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Yellowbird remembered

8 months ago

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Steve Sutcliffe | Journalist


11 September 2023

It was a Tuesday morning as I recall, late one autumn 30 odd years ago. The sun was shining, the browning leaves of the Adenau forest scattered randomly across the circuit. Then along came one of the most violent and magnificent things I’d ever witnessed on four wheels, and it completely blew my mind.

To begin with it was more of a sound than a sight: a screeching, instantly disturbing noise underscored by the familiar wail of a flat-six engine not quite at maximum revs, its throttle being skilfully played with, somewhere out of sight. Then from over a crest in the far distance it appeared, a bright yellow burst of colour and mayhem with an almighty cloud of grey-blue smoke erupting out of its rear wheel arches.

Stefan Roser, aka Dr Drift, and his legendary Ruf Yellowbird had arrived at their regular place of work, the Nürburgring, and I remember thinking at the time that I had never seen anything so outrageous in my life. Certainly not on four wheels, and definitely not up close and personal from the side of the road, which is where myself and fellow Ti scribe Colin Goodwin were standing when the good doctor came howling past us for the first time, completely crossed up, well north of 80mph.

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