1981 World Rally Championship

The 1981 World Rally Championship was the ninth season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) World Rally Championship (WRC). The season consisted of 12 rallies. While this number was the same as the previous year, one change was made to the schedule, replacing New Zealand with the Brazil.

The 1981 World Rally Championship for Drivers was won by Ari Vatanen driving a Rothmans Rally Team Ford Escort RS1800, the only time a privateer team has won the Drivers' Championship until 2017. The Makes' Championship was won by Talbot with their Sunbeam Lotus. It also saw the beginning of a new era in the sport with the arrival of the Audi Quattro, the first four-wheel drive rally car. Initially regarded as too heavy and complex for rally stages, it proved its worth with three wins in its debut season, including a maiden victory for Michèle Mouton at the Rallye Sanremo, the only woman to win a WRC event.

ChampionshipsEdit

1981 World Rally Championship for Manufacturers
Rank Manufacturers Event Total
points
 
MON
 
SWE
 
POR
 
KEN
 
FRA
 
GRC
 
ARG
 
BRA
 
FIN
 
ITA
 
CIV
 
GBR
1   Talbot 17 - 17 - 17 15 18 - - 17 - 16 117
2   Datsun - - 13 18 15 13 17 - 12 - 18 - 106
3   Ford - - 9 - 12 18 - - 18 7 - 16 80
4   Opel 15 - 11 12 8 - - - 8 15 - - 69
5   Audi - - 13 - - - - - 14 18 - 18 63
6   Fiat 8 - 18 - - 16 - - 16 5 - - 63
7   Renault 18 - - - 7 10 15 - - - - 11 61
8   Toyota - - 15 - 11 - - - 3 - 16 9 54
9   Peugeot - - - 10 - 4 12 - - - 11 - 37
10   Lancia 10 - - - 18 - - - - - - - 28
11   Porsche 4 - - - 15 - - - - - - - 19
12   Škoda - - - - - 8 - - - - - - 8
13   Dodge - - - 6 - - - - - - - - 6
14   Mitsubishi - - - - - - - - 1 - - 3 4
1981 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
1981 World Rally Championship for Drivers
Rank Driver Event Total
points
 
MON
 
SWE
 
POR
 
KEN
 
FRA
 
GRC
 
ARG
 
BRA
 
FIN
 
ITA
 
CIV
 
GBR
1   Ari Vatanen 0 15 0 - - 20 0 20 20 4 2 15 96
2   Guy Fréquelin 15 - 6 0 15 10 20 15 - 0 8 0 89
3   Hannu Mikkola 0 20 0 - 0 0 - - 12 10 - 20 62
4   Markku Alén 4 - 20 - - 15 - - 15 2 - 0 56
5   Shekhar Mehta - - - 20 - 8 15 0 - - 12 - 55
6   Timo Salonen - - 0 10 0 0 0 - 10 0 20 0 40
7   Henri Toivonen 8 - 15 - 0 0 - - 0 15 - 0 38
8   Michèle Mouton 0 - 10 - 0 0 - - 0 20 - 0 30
9   Pentti Airikkala - 12 - - - - - - 8 - - 10 30
10   Per Eklund 0 2 0 - 6 0 - - 0 - 15 6 29
11   Jean Ragnotti 20 - - - 0 - - - - - - 8 28
12   Bernard Darniche 6 - - - 20 - - - - - - - 26
13   Stig Blomqvist - 8 - - - - - - 3 - - 12 23
14   Jorge Recalde - - - - - - 12 10 - - - - 22
15   Anders Kulläng 10 10 0 0 - 0 - - 0 - - 2 22
16   Jochi Kleint 12 - - 8 - 0 - - - - - - 20
  Tony Pond - - 8 - 12 - - - - 0 - 0 20
18   Björn Waldegård 3 - 12 - 0 0 - - 2 - 0 0 17
19   Rauno Aaltonen 0 - - 15 - - - - - - - - 15
20   Mike Kirkland - - - 12 - - - - - - - - 12
  Attilio Bettega 0 - 0 - - 12 - - - 0 - - 12
  Domingo De Vitta - - - - - - 0 12 - - - - 12
  Antonio Fassina - - - - - - - - - 12 - - 12
24   Björn Johansson - 6 - - - - - - 6 - - 0 12
25   Terry Kaby - - - - 8 - - - - - - 3 11
26   Jean-Pierre Ballet 0 - - - 10 - - - - - - - 10
  Ernesto Soto - - - - - - 10 - - - - - 10
  Michel Mitri - - - - - - - - - - 10 - 10
29   Ricardo Albertengo - - - - - - 8 - - - - - 10
  Carlos Torres - - 0 - - - - 8 - - - - 8
  Luigi Battistolli - - - - - - - - - 8 - - 8
32   Lasse Lampi - 4 - - - - - - 4 - - 0 8
33   Jean-Claude Lefèbvre - - - 6 - - - - - - - - 6
  Iórgos Moschous - - - - - 6 - - - - - - 6
  Luis Etchegoyen - - - - - - 6 - - - - - 6
  Gustavo Trelles - - - - - - - 6 - - - - 6
  Miki Biasion - - - - - - - - - 6 - - 6
  Alain Ambrosino - - - 0 - - - - - - 6 - 6
39   Sören Nilsson - - - - - - 1 4 - - - - 5
  Horacio Maglione - 1 - - - - - - - - - 4 5
41   Rafael 'Cid' - - 4 - - - - - - - - - 4
  Yoshio Iwashita - - - 4 - - - - - - - - 4
  Jean-Michel Tichadou - - - - 4 - - - - - - - 4
  'Carlo' - - - - - 4 - - - - - - 4
  Federico West - - - - - - 4 - - - - - 4
  Samir Assef - - - - - - - - - - 4 - 4
47   Ola Strömberg - 3 - - - - - - - - - - 3
  Manuel Queirós Pereira - - 3 - - - - - - - - - 3
  Jayant Shah - - - 3 - - - - - - - - 3
  Gérard Swaton - - - - 3 - - - - - - - 3
  Václav Blahna - - - - - 3 - - - - - - 3
  Luís Romero - - - - - - 3 - - - - - 3
  Julio Berges - - - - - - - 3 - - - - 3
  Dario Cerrato 0 - 0 - - - - - - 3 - - 3
  Jacques Durieu - - - - - - - - - - 3 - 3
56   Jacques Alméras 2 - - - 0 - - - - - - - 2
  Joaquim Moutinho - - 2 - - - - - - - - - 2
  Malcolm Smith - - - 2 - - - - - - - - 2
  Camille Bartoli - - - - 2 - - - - - - - 2
  Pavlos Moschoutis - - - - - 2 - - - - - - 2
  Miguel Tubal - - - - - - 2 - - - - - 2
  Maria Carmo Zacarias - - - - - - - 2 - - - - 2
63   Alain Coppier 1 - - - 0 - - - - - - - 1
  Kenjiro Shinozuka - - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1
  Rod Hall - - - 1 - - - - - - - - 1
  Jean-Felix Farrucci - - - - 1 - - - - - - - 1
  Claude Laurent 0 - - - - 1 - - 0 - 0 0 1
  Antero Laine - - - - - - - - 1 0 - 0 1
  Federico Ormezzano - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1
  Roger Clark - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1
1981 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

EventsEdit

1981 World Rally Championship event map
 
Black = Tarmac Brown = Gravel Blue = Snow/Ice Red = Mixed Surface
1981 World Rally Championship schedule and results
Round Rally name Stages Podium finishers
Rank Driver Co-driver Car Time
1   Rallye Monte Carlo
(24–30 January)
32 stages
757 km
Tarmac
1   Jean Ragnotti   Jean-Marc Andrié Renault 5 Turbo 9:55:55
2   Guy Fréquelin   Jean Todt Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 9:58:49
3   Jochi Kleint   Gunter Wanger Opel Ascona 400 10:02:54
2   Swedish Rally[1]
(13–15 February)
25 stages
369 km
Snow/Ice
1   Hannu Mikkola   Arne Hertz Audi Quattro 3:48:07
2   Ari Vatanen   David Richards Ford Escort RS1800 3:50:00
3   Pentti Airikkala   Risto Virtanen Ford Escort RS1800 3:51:47
3   Rallye de Portugal
(4–7 March)
46 stages
681 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1   Markku Alén   Ilkka Kivimäki Fiat 131 Abarth 8:27:26
2   Henri Toivonen   Fred Gallagher Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 8:36:36
3   Björn Waldegård   Hans Thorszelius Toyota Celica 2000GT 8:43:47
4   Safari Rally
(16–20 April)
77 controls
5209 km
Gravel
1   Shekhar Mehta   Mike Doughty Datsun Violet GT +3:39 pen
2   Rauno Aaltonen   Lofty Drews Datsun Violet GT +3:44 pen
3   Mike Kirkland   Dave Haworth Datsun 160J +4:51 pen
5   Tour de Corse
(30 April–2 May)
24 stages
1144 km
Tarmac
1   Bernard Darniche   Alain Mahé Lancia Stratos HF 14:26.23
2   Guy Fréquelin   Jean Todt Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 14:42:25
3   Tony Pond   Ian Grindrod Datsun Violet GT 14:45.29
6   Acropolis Rally
(1–4 June)
57 stages
960 km
Gravel
1   Ari Vatanen   David Richards Ford Escort RS1800 13:17:25
2   Markku Alén   Ilkka Kivimäki Fiat 131 Abarth 13:22:00
3   Attilio Bettega   Maurizio Perissinot Fiat 131 Abarth 13:25:19
7   Rally Codasur
(18–23 July)
18 stages
1341 km
Gravel
1   Guy Fréquelin   Jean Todt Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 14:22:52
2   Shekhar Mehta   Mike Doughty Datsun Violet GT 15:01:04
3   Jorge Recalde   Jorge del Bouno Datsun 160J 16:01:19
8   Rallye do Brasil
(6–8 August)
20 stages
714 km
Gravel
1   Ari Vatanen   David Richards Ford Escort RS1800 9:39:40
2   Guy Fréquelin   Jean Todt Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 9:48:11
3   Domingo De Vitta   Daniel Muzio Ford Escort RS 10:19:46
9   1000 Lakes Rally
(28–30 August)
46 stages
440 km
Gravel
1   Ari Vatanen   David Richards Ford Escort RS1800 4:07:27
2   Markku Alén   Ilkka Kivimäki Fiat 131 Abarth 4:08:26
3   Hannu Mikkola   Arne Hertz Audi Quattro 4:10:19
10   Rallye Sanremo
(5–10 October)
59 stages
751 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1   Michèle Mouton   Fabrizia Pons Audi Quattro 8:05:50
2   Henri Toivonen   Fred Gallagher Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 8:09:15
3   Antonio Fassina   Rudy Roberto Dalpozzo Opel Ascona 400 8:12:08
11   Rallye Côte d'Ivoire
(26–31 October)
56 controls
5087 km
Gravel
1   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Datsun Violet GT +9:57 pen
2   Per Eklund   Ragnar Spjuth Toyota Celica 2000GT +11:09 pen
3   Shekhar Mehta   Mike Doughty Datsun Violet GT +11:22 pen
12   RAC Rally
(22–25 November)
65 stages
722 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1   Hannu Mikkola   Arne Hertz Audi Quattro 8:30:00
2   Ari Vatanen   David Richards Ford Escort RS1800 8:41:05
3   Stig Blomqvist   Björn Cederberg Talbot Sunbeam Lotus 8:43:36
  1. ^ Event not included in the Manufacturers' Championship

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit