Racers, even when they're not racing, are always competitive. Nothing exemplifies this better than the time rally legend Walter Röhrl encountered Michael Schumacher on the Nürburgring. This story has been floating around the internet for a few years now, but Autocar reporter (and friend of Road & Track) Dan Prosser brought it to our attention on Twitter this morning.
Röhrl himself tells the story in German (with English subtitles) in the video below. It goes something like this:
Sometime in 2007, Porsche was at the Nürburgring doing final testing of the 997-generation 911 GT2. The automaker had a handful of rival cars on hand for benchmarking. Röhrl took out a Ferrari 599 for a flying lap, and to stay "motivated" as he puts it, he decided to chase down a black car further up the track.
As he got closer, he noticed, coincidentally, that the black car was another 599, and the driver was really hustling. The man in the black Ferrari turned in too late for one corner, oversteering and giving Röhrl the opportunity to pass. After the lap, Röhrl left the track to cool down his Ferrari on the public roads just outside the Nordschleife. Shortly after, the driver of the black 599 pulled alongside.
Röhrl was surprised to discover that behind the wheel was none other than Michael Schumacher.
Schumi was at the Nordshleife with OEM supplier Sachs, and apparently after encountering Röhrl, he went back to the garages to tell all the Sachs employees off, livid at how Röhrl had blown past him on the circuit. Quickly the story spread through the community of engineers and test drivers at the 'Ring, becoming part of the track's history.