1979 World Rally Championship

1979 World Rally Championship
World Drivers' Champion:
Björn Waldegård
World Manufacturers' Champion:
Ford
Previous: 1978 Next: 1980

The 1979 World Rally Championship 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 160J (Violet) 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.

EventsEdit

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

Championship for manufacturersEdit

1979 World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
Rank Manufacturer Event Total
points
 
MON
 
SWE
 
POR
 
KEN
 
GRC
 
NZL
 
FIN
 
CAN
 
ITA
 
FRA
 
GBR
 
CIV
1   Ford 16 16 18 - 18 18 (16) 18 (12) - 18 - 122
2   Datsun - (8) 14 18 17 (6) 14 17 - - 16 12 108
3   Fiat 14 12 - 15 - - 18 - 16 12 5 - 92
4   Lancia 18 - - - - - - - 18 18 11 - 65
5   Toyota - - 16 - - - 10 12 - 10 - 10 58
6   Opel - 13 9 - - - - - 14 13 - - 49
7   Renault 11 - - - 13 - - - - 17 - - 41
8   Mercedes - - - 17 - - - - - - - 18 35
9   Porsche 8 - - - - - - - 9 15 - - 32
10   Vauxhall - 14 - - - 10 - - - - 7 - 31
11   Peugeot - - - - - - - 8 - 6 - 8 22
12   Saab - 18 - - - - - - - - - - 18
13   Mitsubishi - - - - - - - 13 - - - - 13
14   Talbot - - - - - - - - 12 - - - 12
15   Audi - - 11 - - - - - - - - - 11
16   Mazda - - - - - 10 - - - - - - 10
17   Triumph - - - - - - 7 - - - - - 7
18   Volvo - 6 - - - - - - - - - - 6
  Škoda - - - - 6 - - - - - - - 6
20   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 driversEdit

1979 World Rally Championship for Drivers
Rank Driver Event Total
points
 
MON
 
SWE
 
POR
 
KEN
 
GRC
 
NZL
 
FIN
 
CAN
 
ITA
 
FRA
 
GBR
 
CIV
1   Björn Waldegård 15 15 15 (6) 20 - 12 20 - - (2) 15 112
2   Hannu Mikkola 8 8 20 15 - 20 - - - - 20 20 111
3   Markku Alén 12 10 - 12 - - 20 - 6 - 8 - 68
4   Timo Salonen - - - - 15 - 8 15 - - 12 - 50
  Ari Vatanen 1 - - - - 12 15 12 - - 10 - 50
6   Bernard Darniche 20 - - - - - - - - 20 - - 40
7   Jean Ragnotti - - - - 10 - - - - 15 - - 25
8   Andrew Cowan - - - 10 - - - - - - - 12 22
9   Walter Röhrl - - - 3 - - - - 15 - 3 - 21
10   Stig Blomqvist - 20 - - - - - - - - - - 20
  Shekhar Mehta - - - 20 - - - - - - - - 20
  Antonio 'Tony' Fassina - - - - - - - - 20 - - - 20
13   Ove Andersson - - 12 - - - - - - - - 8 20
14   Andy Dawson - - 10 - - - - 10 - - - - 20
15   Pentti Airikkala - 12 - - - - - - - - 4 - 16
16   Blair Robson - - - - - 15 - - - - - - 15
  Russell Brookes - - - - - - - - - - 15 - 15
18   Harry Källström - - - 2 12 - - - - - - - 14
19   Attilio Bettega - - - - - - - - 12 - - - 12
  Pierre-Louis Moreau - - - - - - - - - 12 - - 12
21   Michèle Mouton 4 - - - - - - - - 8 - - 12
22   Jean-Claude Andruet 10 - - - - - - - - - - - 10
  Paul Adams - - - - - 10 - - - - - - 10
  Ulf Grönholm - - - - - - 10 - - - - - 10
  Tony Pond - - - - - - - - 10 - - - 10
  Alain Coppier - - - - - - - - - 10 - - 10
  Vic Preston, Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - 10 10
28   Carlos Torres - - 8 - - - - - - - - - 10
  Rauno Aaltonen - - - 8 - - - - - - - - 8
  Anastasios 'Iaveris' Markouizos - - - - 8 - - - - - - - 8
  Shane Murland - - - - - 8 - - - - - - 8
  Taisto Heinonen - - - - - - - 8 - - - - 8
  Dario Cerrato - - - - - - - - 8 - - - 8
34   Jean-Pierre Nicolas 6 - - - - - - - - - - - 6
  Björn Johansson - 6 - - - - - - - - - - 6
  Harald Demuth - - 6 - - - - - - - - - 6
  Iórgos Moschous - - - - 6 - - - - - - - 6
  David Parkes - - - - - 6 - - - - - - 6
  Lasse Lampi - - - - - - 6 - - - - - 6
  Hendrik Blok - - - - - - - 6 - - - - 6
  Bernard Picone - - - - - - - - - 6 - - 6
  John Taylor - - - - - - - - - - 6 - 6
  Alain Ambrosino - - - - - - - - - - - 6 6
44   Ola Strömberg - 4 - - - - - - - - - - 4
  Freddy Kottulinsky - - 4 - - - - - - - - - 4
  Mike Kirkland - - - 4 - - - - - - - - 4
  Evangelos Gallo - - - - 4 - - - - - - - 4
  Brian Green - - - - - 4 - - - - - - 4
  Tapio Rainio - - - - - - 4 - - - - - 4
  Jack Swayze - - - - - - - 4 - - - - 4
  Angelo Presotto - - - - - - - - 4 - - - 4
  Paul Rouby - - - - - - - - - 4 - - 4
  Michel Mitri - - - - - - - - - - - 4 4
54   Guy Fréquelin 3 - - - - - - - - - - - 3
  Lars Carlsson - 3 - - - - - - - - - - 3
  Joaquim Santos - - 3 - - - - - - - - - 3
  Václav Blahna - - - - 3 - - - - - - - 3
  Roger Goss - - - - - 3 - - - - - - 3
  Per Eklund - - - - - - 3 - - - - - 3
  Claude Laurent - - - - - - - 3 - - - - 3
  Antonio Tognana - - - - - - - - 3 - - - 3
  Jean-Pierre Mari - - - - - - - - - 3 - - 3
  Jean-Pierre Paure - - - - - - - - - - - 3 3
64   Jacques Alméras 2 - - - - - - - - - - - 2
  John Haugland - 2 - - - - - - - - - - 2
  Jorge Ortigão - - 2 - - - - - - - - - 2
  Nikolay Elizarov - - - - 2 - - - - - - - 2
  Malcolm Stewart - - - - - 2 - - - - - - 2
  Erkki Pitkänen - - - - - - 2 - - - - - 2
  Nicole Quimet - - - - - - - 2 - - - - 2
  Domenico 'Nico' Grosoli - - - - - - - - 2 - - - 2
  Jean Bondrille - - - - - - - - - 2 - - 2
73   Sven-Inge Neby - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1
  Marques Baptista - - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1
  Sandro Munari - - - 1 - - - - - - - - 1
  Sergey Vukovich - - - - 1 - - - - - - - 1
  Bob Robb - - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1
  Pekka Vilpponen - - - - - - 1 - - - - - 1
  Paul Bourgeois - - - - - - - 1 - - - - 1
  Paolo Pasutti - - - - - - - - 1 - - - 1
  Jean-Charles Martinetti - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1
  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
 
MON
 
SWE
 
POR
 
KEN
 
GRC
 
NZL
 
FIN
 
CAN
 
ITA
 
FRA
 
GBR
 
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

TeamsEdit

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

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit