The view was picture-postcard. Virgin snow filled the treetops and covered the mountains that stretched into the clear blue sky. The hotel was typically 1960s Alpine; all wood panelling, dark corners and not a whiff of wi-fi to be had.
I kept breakfast to a minimum - a strong black coffee - as I knew what was coming up and the prospect of doing it on a full stomach was out of the question. Outside in the chill winter morning a gaggle of motoring journalists had split into small cliques, and the air was abuzz with nervous excitement.
This soon descended to an awed hush as a distant whizz and bang alerted us to the impending presence of what we were here to see. As the mechanical symphony crescendoed the yellow and white monster came into view, beautifully drifting in front of us before parking up.
By the standards of today's high-tech WRC machines, the Audi Quattro is an agricultural piece of kit. To anyone brought up watching a snow-swept William Wollard present the Lombard highlights on BBC2, this is what rallying is all about.
Behind the wheel was double world champion Walter Rohrl and ahead was a snaking strip of asphalt that makes up part of the Col du Turini. This was cool.
Rohrl, a tad more wrinkled than he was during his height of his career, took it easy on the way down. This was a pubic road and we didn't want to surprise a local at full-pelt.
But once we'd turned around at the bottom, and it was established the road was clear, it was game on. The acceleration was brutal, but it was Rohrl's pinpoint accuracy as he nailed every apex that really impressed. There was no time for small talk as the walls and trees passed by in a blur.
I tried to stare down at the dancing feet that made him an early YouTube legend (for a lap of the Nurburgring filmed in the footwell). But there was only so long I could look down as I was flung around.
He showboated through the final corner, where the rest of the journos were waiting for their turn, but just to show how much he pushed as we pulled up he reached over to his left wrist and clicked his stopwatch! Even with my lumbering ballast on board he was checking for the final few tenths!
Later in the day we got to sit and chat. I asked him how he would fair against Sebastien Loeb. "What now? I think in his car he would beat me, but in one of these, I'm not so sure!"
You can take a 63-year-old out of competition, but you can't take the competitive spirit out of that amazing man.
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