1979 World Rally Championship season

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1979 World Rally Championship season
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World Rally
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2014 World Rally Championship season
2014 WRC-2 season
2014 WRC-3 season
2014 Junior WRC season

Related articles

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Constructors (Champions) · Rallies · Seasons · Records · People · Fatal accidents

The 1979 World Rally Championship season was the seventh season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) World Rally Championship (WRC). The season consisted of 12 rallies, one more than the previous year. The addition marked the return to New Zealand, an event which would remain on the schedule through today.

1979 marked the first season for the new World Rally Championship for Drivers. This successor to the preceding FIA Cup for Rally Drivers was aligned with the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers. Both championships used the same schedule of events for accumulating points toward the titles, although the point awarding methods were different for each. Manufacturers continued to receive points under the system adopted in 1977, in which points were garnered for both placement overall and placement within the car's group. Only the top finishing car from each manufacturer would garner points, and regardless of group finish, an overall finish of 10th or better was required to obtain points. Drivers were awarded points on the former system, simply based on overall finish, from 20 points for 1st place to 1 point for 10th place.

After several years of competitive but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to seize the championship, Ford finally gathered its first WRC manufacturer's title. A strong season which included five rally wins gave it the edge over new challenger Datsun, whose Model 160J proved successful, and former champion Fiat. Ford's fortune would be short-lived however, and despite determined and competitive participation in WRC events, 1979 would be the company's sole WRC title until their return to victory in 2006.

The competition for the first WRC driver's title was extremely close, and ultimately was decided by the two contenders placing first and second in the final rally of the season. The final difference between the winner, Swede Björn Waldegård, and the runner-up, Finn Hannu Mikkola, was only a single point.


Events[edit]


1979 World Rally Championship event map
WRC-1979.png
Black = Tarmac Brown = Gravel Blue = Snow/Ice Red = Mixed Surface
1979 World Rally Championship schedule and results
Round Rally name Stages Podium finishers
Rank Driver Co-driver Team Car Time
1 Monaco
47ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo
(20 January–26 January)
30 stages
619 km
Tarmac
1 France Bernard Darniche France Alain Mahé France Team Chardonnet Lancia Stratos HF 8:13.38
2 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 8:13.44
3 Finland Markku Alén Finland Ilkka Kivimäki Italy Alitalia Fiat Fiat 131 Abarth 8:17.47
2 Sweden
29th International Swedish Rally
(16 February–18 February)
38 stages
630 km
Snow/Ice
1 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Saab 99 Turbo 6:34.49
2 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 6:36.09
3 Finland Pentti Airikkala Finland Risto Virtanen Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS 6:39.31
3 Portugal
13º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto
(6 March–11 March)
45 stages
735 km
Tarmac/Gravel
1 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 9:13.52
2 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 9:16.36
3 Sweden Ove Andersson United Kingdom Henry Liddon West Germany Toyota Team Europe Toyota Celica 2000GT 9:35.00
4 Kenya
27th Safari Rally
(April 12–16)
82 controls
5028 km
Gravel
1 Kenya Shekhar Mehta Kenya Mike Doughty Kenya DT Dobie Team Datsun Datsun 160J +6:27 pen
2 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Kenya DT Dobie Daimler-Benz Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0 +7:15 pen
3 Finland Markku Alén Finland Ilkka Kivimäki Italy Alitalia Fiat Fiat 131 Abarth +7:20 pen
5 Greece
26th Acropolis Rally
(May 28–31)
54 stages
1008 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius United Kingdom Rothmans Rally Team Ford Escort RS1800 13:35.06
2 Finland Timo Salonen Finland Seppo Harjanne Greece N. I. Theocharakis Datsun 160J 14:07.04
3 Sweden Harry Källström Sweden Claes Billstam Greece N. I. Theocharakis Datsun 160J 14:11.39
6 New Zealand
10th Motogard Rally of New Zealand
(14 July–18 July)
42 stages
672 km
Tarmac/Gravel
1 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz New Zealand Masport Ford Escort RS1800 8:05.45,8
2 New Zealand Blair Robson New Zealand Chris Porter New Zealand Masport Ford Escort RS1800 8:27.03,0
3 Finland Ari Vatanen United Kingdom David Richards United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 8:29.40,8
7 Finland
29th 1000 Lakes Rally
(24 August–28 August)
45 stages
424 km
Gravel
1 Finland Markku Alén Finland Ilkka Kivimäki Italy Alitalia Fiat Fiat 131 Abarth 4:01.11
2 Finland Ari Vatanen United Kingdom David Richards United Kingdom Rothmans Rally Team Ford Escort RS1800 4:02.42
3 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 4:07.15
8 Canada
7ème Critérium Molson du Québec
(13 September–16 September)
25 stages
384 km
Tarmac/Gravel
1 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 3:35.32
2 Finland Timo Salonen Finland Seppo Harjanne Japan Team Datsun Europe Datsun 160J 3:36.10
3 Finland Ari Vatanen United Kingdom David Richards United Kingdom Rothmans Rally Team Ford Escort RS1800 3:41.50
9 Italy
21º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia
(1 October–7 October)
66 stages
1078 km
Tarmac/Gravel
1 Italy Antonio 'Tony' Fassina Italy Mauro Mannini Italy Jolly Club Lancia Stratos HF 12:37.17
2 West Germany Walter Röhrl West Germany Christian Geistdörfer Italy Alitalia Fiat Fiat 131 Abarth 12:41.31
3 Italy Attilio Bettega Italy Maurizio Perissinot Fiat 131 Abarth 12:55.59
10 France
23ème Tour de Corse - Rallye de France
(2 November–4 November)
22 stages
1129 km
Tarmac
1 France Bernard Darniche France Alain Mahé France Team Chardonnet Lancia Stratos HF 14:36.46
2 France Jean Ragnotti France Jean-Marc Andrié Renault 5 Alpine 15:12.52
3 France Pierre-Louis Moreau France Patrice Baron Porsche 911 SC 15:23.06
11 United Kingdom
28th Lombard RAC Rally
(19 November–23 November)
56 stages
687 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz United States Ford Motor Company Ford Escort RS1800 8:03.38
2 United Kingdom Russell Brookes United Kingdom Paul White United Kingdom Andrews Heat For Hire Ford Escort RS1800 8:14.07
3 Finland Timo Salonen South Africa Stuart Pegg Japan Team Datsun Europe Datsun 160J 8:16.22
12 Ivory Coast
11ème Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
(9 December–14 December)
50 controls
5668 km
Gravel
1 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0 +3:23 pen
2 Sweden Björn Waldegård Sweden Hans Thorszelius Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0 +3:58 pen
3 United Kingdom Andrew Cowan West Germany Klaus Kaiser Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0 +4:10 pen

Championship for manufacturers[edit]

1979 World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
Rank Manufacturer Event Total
points
Monaco
MON
Sweden
SWE
Portugal
POR
Kenya
KEN
Greece
GRC
New Zealand
NZL
Finland
FIN
Canada
CAN
Italy
ITA
France
FRA
United Kingdom
GBR
Ivory Coast
CIV
1 United States Ford 16 16 18 - 18 18 (16) 18 (12) - 18 - 122
2 Japan Datsun - (8) 14 18 17 (6) 14 17 - - 16 12 108
3 Italy Fiat 14 12 - 15 - - 18 - 16 12 5 - 92
4 Italy Lancia 18 - - - - - - - 18 18 11 - 65
5 Japan Toyota - - 16 - - - 10 12 - 10 - 10 58
6 Germany Opel - 13 9 - - - - - 14 13 - - 49
7 France Renault 11 - - - 13 - - - - 17 - - 41
8 Germany Mercedes - - - 17 - - - - - - - 18 35
9 Germany Porsche 8 - - - - - - - 9 15 - - 32
10 United Kingdom Vauxhall - 14 - - - 10 - - - - 7 - 31
11 France Peugeot - - - - - - - 8 - 6 - 8 22
12 Sweden Saab - 18 - - - - - - - - - - 18
13 Japan Mitsubishi - - - - - - - 13 - - - - 13
14 United Kingdom Talbot - - - - - - - - 12 - - - 12
15 Germany Audi - - 11 - - - - - - - - - 11
16 Japan Mazda - - - - - 10 - - - - - - 10
17 United Kingdom Triumph - - - - - - 7 - - - - - 7
18 Sweden Volvo - 6 - - - - - - - - - - 6
Czechoslovakia Škoda - - - - 6 - - - - - - - 6
20 Soviet Union Lada - - - - 4 - - - - - - - 4
1979 World Rally Championship point awards for manufacturers
Overall
finish
Group finish
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 18 - - - - - - - - -
2 17 16 - - - - - - - -
3 16 15 14 - - - - - - -
4 15 14 13 12 - - - - - -
5 14 13 12 11 10 - - - - -
6 13 12 11 10 9 8 - - - -
7 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 - - -
8 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 - -
9 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 -
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 1

Championship for drivers[edit]

1979 World Rally Championship for Drivers
Rank Driver Event Total
points
Monaco
MON
Sweden
SWE
Portugal
POR
Kenya
KEN
Greece
GRC
New Zealand
NZL
Finland
FIN
Canada
CAN
Italy
ITA
France
FRA
United Kingdom
GBR
Ivory Coast
CIV
1 Sweden Björn Waldegård 15 15 15 (6) 20 - 12 20 - - (2) 15 112
2 Finland Hannu Mikkola 8 8 20 15 - 20 - - - - 20 20 111
3 Finland Markku Alén 12 10 - 12 - - 20 - 6 - 8 - 68
4 Finland Timo Salonen - - - - 15 - 8 15 - - 12 - 50
Finland Ari Vatanen 1 - - - - 12 15 12 - - 10 - 50
6 France Bernard Darniche 20 - - - - - - - - 20 - - 40
7 France Jean Ragnotti - - - - 10 - - - - 15 - - 25
8 United Kingdom Andrew Cowan - - - 10 - - - - - - - 12 22
9 West Germany Walter Röhrl - - - 3 - - - - 15 - 3 - 21
10 Sweden Stig Blomqvist - 20 - - - - - - - - - - 20
Kenya Shekhar Mehta - - - 20 - - - - - - - - 20
Italy Antonio 'Tony' Fassina - - - - - - - - 20 - - - 20
13 Sweden Ove Andersson - - 12 - - - - - - - - 8 20
14 United Kingdom Andy Dawson - - 10 - - - - 10 - - - - 20
15 Finland Pentti Airikkala - 12 - - - - - - - - 4 - 16
16 New Zealand Blair Robson - - - - - 15 - - - - - - 15
United Kingdom Russell Brookes - - - - - - - - - - 15 - 15
18 Sweden Harry Källström - - - 2 12 - - - - - - - 14
19 Italy Attilio Bettega - - - - - - - - 12 - - - 12
France Pierre-Louis Moreau - - - - - - - - - 12 - - 12
21 France Michèle Mouton 4 - - - - - - - - 8 - - 12
22 France Jean-Claude Andruet 10 - - - - - - - - - - - 10
New Zealand Paul Adams - - - - - 10 - - - - - - 10
Finland Ulf Grönholm - - - - - - 10 - - - - - 10
United Kingdom Tony Pond - - - - - - - - 10 - - - 10
France Alain Coppier - - - - - - - - - 10 - - 10
Kenya Vic Preston, Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - 10 10
28 Portugal Carlos Torres - - 8 - - - - - - - - - 10
Finland Rauno Aaltonen - - - 8 - - - - - - - - 8
Greece Anastasios 'Iaveris' Markouizos - - - - 8 - - - - - - - 8
New Zealand Shane Murland - - - - - 8 - - - - - - 8
Canada Taisto Heinonen - - - - - - - 8 - - - - 8
Italy Dario Cerrato - - - - - - - - 8 - - - 8
34 France Jean-Pierre Nicolas 6 - - - - - - - - - - - 6
Sweden Björn Johansson - 6 - - - - - - - - - - 6
West Germany Harald Demuth - - 6 - - - - - - - - - 6
Greece Iórgos Moschous - - - - 6 - - - - - - - 6
New Zealand David Parkes - - - - - 6 - - - - - - 6
Finland Lasse Lampi - - - - - - 6 - - - - - 6
United States Hendrik Blok - - - - - - - 6 - - - - 6
France Bernard Picone - - - - - - - - - 6 - - 6
United Kingdom John Taylor - - - - - - - - - - 6 - 6
France Alain Ambrosino - - - - - - - - - - - 6 6
44 Sweden Ola Strömberg - 4 - - - - - - - - - - 4
Sweden Freddy Kottulinsky - - 4 - - - - - - - - - 4
Kenya Mike Kirkland - - - 4 - - - - - - - - 4
Greece Evangelos Gallo - - - - 4 - - - - - - - 4
New Zealand Brian Green - - - - - 4 - - - - - - 4
Finland Tapio Rainio - - - - - - 4 - - - - - 4
Canada Jack Swayze - - - - - - - 4 - - - - 4
Italy Angelo Presotto - - - - - - - - 4 - - - 4
France Paul Rouby - - - - - - - - - 4 - - 4
France Michel Mitri - - - - - - - - - - - 4 4
54 France Guy Fréquelin 3 - - - - - - - - - - - 3
Sweden Lars Carlsson - 3 - - - - - - - - - - 3
Portugal Joaquim Santos - - 3 - - - - - - - - - 3
Czech Republic Václav Blahna - - - - 3 - - - - - - - 3
New Zealand Roger Goss - - - - - 3 - - - - - - 3
Sweden Per Eklund - - - - - - 3 - - - - - 3
France Claude Laurent - - - - - - - 3 - - - - 3
Italy Antonio Tognana - - - - - - - - 3 - - - 3
France Jean-Pierre Mari - - - - - - - - - 3 - - 3
France Jean-Pierre Paure - - - - - - - - - - - 3 3
64 France Jacques Alméras 2 - - - - - - - - - - - 2
Norway John Haugland - 2 - - - - - - - - - - 2
Portugal Jorge Ortigão - - 2 - - - - - - - - - 2
Soviet Union Nikolay Elizarov - - - - 2 - - - - - - - 2
New Zealand Malcolm Stewart - - - - - 2 - - - - - - 2
Finland Erkki Pitkänen - - - - - - 2 - - - - - 2
Canada Nicole Quimet - - - - - - - 2 - - - - 2
Italy Domenico 'Nico' Grosoli - - - - - - - - 2 - - - 2
France Jean Bondrille - - - - - - - - - 2 - - 2
73 Sweden Sven-Inge Neby - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1
Portugal Marques Baptista - - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1
Italy Sandro Munari - - - 1 - - - - - - - - 1
Soviet Union Sergey Vukovich - - - - 1 - - - - - - - 1
New Zealand Bob Robb - - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1
Finland Pekka Vilpponen - - - - - - 1 - - - - - 1
Canada Paul Bourgeois - - - - - - - 1 - - - - 1
Italy Paolo Pasutti - - - - - - - - 1 - - - 1
France Jean-Charles Martinetti - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1
Australia Greg Carr - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 1
1979 World Rally Championship point awards for drivers
Points awarded by finish 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
20 15 12 10 8 6 4 3 2 1
1979 driver points awarded by nationality
Rank Country Top ranked driver Event Total
points
Monaco
MON
Sweden
SWE
Portugal
POR
Kenya
KEN
Greece
GRC
New Zealand
NZL
Finland
FIN
Canada
CAN
Italy
ITA
France
FRA
United Kingdom
GBR
Ivory Coast
CIV
1  Finland Hannu Mikkola 21 30 20 35 15 32 66 27 6 - 54 20 326
2  Sweden Björn Waldegård 15 49 31 2 32 - 12 23 - - - 23 187
3  France Bernard Darniche 45 - - - 10 - - 3 - 81 - 13 152
4  United Kingdom Andrew Cowan - - 10 10 - - - 10 10 - 21 12 73
5  Italy Tony - - - 1 - - - - 48 - - - 48
6  New Zealand Blair Robson - - - - - 43 - - - - - - 43
7  Kenya Shekhar Mehta - - - 24 - - - - - - - 10 34
8  West Germany Walter Röhrl - - 6 3 - - - - 15 - 3 - 27
9  Greece Iaveris - - - - 18 - - - - - - - 18
10  Canada Taisto Heinonen - - - - - - - 15 - - - - 15
11  Portugal Carlos Torres - - 14 - - - - - - - - - 14
12  United States Hendrik Blok - - - - - - - 6 - - - - 6
13  Czechoslovakia Václav Blahna - - - - 3 - - - - - - - 3
14  Soviet Union Nikolay Elizarov - - - - 3 - - - - - - - 3
15  Norway John Haugland - 2 - - - - - - - - - - 2
16  Australia Greg Carr - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 1

Teams[edit]

1979 team performance
Team Drivers Cars Performance Results Points
Entries Finishes Wins Maker Driver
United States Ford Motor Company Sweden Björn Waldegård
Finland Hannu Mikkola
Ford Escort RS1800 11 11 3 86 147
Italy Alitalia Fiat Sweden Finland Markku Alén
Germany Walter Röhrl
Italy Sandro Munari
Fiat 131 Abarth 9 8 1 80 82
Japan Team Datsun Europe Finland Timo Salonen
United Kingdom Andy Dawson
Sweden Harry Källström
Norway John Haugland
Finland Erkki Pitkänen
Datsun 160J 10 6 - 61 59
France Team Chardonnet France Bernard Darniche Lancia Stratos HF 4 2 2 36 40
United Kingdom Rothmans Rally Team Sweden Björn Waldegård
Finland Ari Vatanen
Ford Escort RS1800
Ford Fiesta
9 5 1 34 66
Germany Toyota Team Europe Sweden Ove Andersson Toyota Celica 2000GT 9 2 - 26 20
New Zealand Masport Finland Hannu Mikkola
New Zealand Blair Robson
Ford Escort RS1800 3 2 1 18 35
Kenya DT Dobie Team Datsun Kenya Shekhar Mehta
Sweden Harry Källström
Finland Rauno Aaltonen
Kenya Mike Kirkland
Datsun 160J 4 4 1 18 34
Italy Jolly Club Italy Tony Lancia Stratos HF 1 1 1 18 20
Greece N. I. Theocharakis Finland Timo Salonen
Sweden Harry Källström
Greece Iórgos Moschous
Greece Evangelos Gallo
Datsun 160J 4 4 - 17 37
Kenya DT Dobie Daimler-Benz Finland Hannu Mikkola
United Kingdom Andrew Cowan
Sweden Björn Waldegård
Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0
Mercedes 280 E
5 3 - 17 31
Italy Conrero Italy Dario Cerrato Opel Ascona B 1 1 - 14 8
France Renault Elf Calberson France Jean Ragnotti Renault 5 Alpine 1 1 - 13 10
France Fiat France France Michèle Mouton
France Jean-Claude Andruet
Fiat 131 Abarth 2 2 - 12 14
Germany Audi Motorsport Germany Harald Demuth
Sweden Freddy Kottulinsky
Austria Franz Wittmann
Audi 80 GLE 10 7 - 11 10
United Kingdom Lancia GB Finland Markku Alén Lancia Stratos HF 1 1 - 11 8
Portugal Team Lopes Correia Portugal Joaquim Santos
Portugal Joaquim Moutinho
Opel Kadett GT/E 2 1 - 9 3
United Kingdom Dealer Team Vauxhall Finland Pentti Airikkala Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS 1 1 - 7 4
Poland Biamar Czechoslovakia Václav Blahna Škoda 130RS 2 1 - 6 3
Soviet Union Autoexport Moskva Soviet Union Nikolay Elizarov
Soviet Union Sergey Vukovich
Lada 21011 3 2 - 4 3
Australia Nylex New Zealand Paul Adams Ford Escort RS1800 2 1 - - 10
Australia Ford Australia Australia Greg Carr Ford Escort RS1800 1 1 - - 1
United Kingdom British Leyland Cars Sweden Per Eklund
United Kingdom Graham Elsmore
Finland Simo Lampinen
Triumph TR 7 V8 4 3 - - -
Kenya Marshalls France Jean-Claude Lefèbvre Peugeot 504 V6 Coupé 4 1 - - -
Poland FSO Poland Andrzej Jaroszewicz FSO Polonez 2000 2 1 - - -
Portugal Aleuropa Portugal Vítor Oliveira Opel 1204 SL 1 1 - - -
Kenya Fiat Kenya Kenya Robin Ulyate Fiat 131 Abarth 1 1 - - -
Greece Kassidopoulos Greece Manolis Halivelakis Toyota Corolla 1 1 - - -
United Kingdom Toyota Team Great Britain Finland Tapio Rainio Toyota Celica 2000GT 1 1 - - -
Netherlands Opel Dealer Team Holland Sweden Anders Kulläng Opel Kadett GT/E 5 - - - -
New Zealand GM Dealer Team New Zealand Finland Pentti Airikkala Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS 1 - - - -
Portugal GM Portugal Portugal Mêquêpê Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS 1 - - - -
France Opel France France Jean-Louis Clarr Opel Kadett GT/E 1 - - - -
Sweden Saab Scania Sweden Stig Blomqvist
Sweden Ola Strömberg
Saab 99 Turbo 2 - - - -
France Talbot France France Jean-Pierre Nicolas Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 1 - - - -

See also[edit]