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1985 World Rally Championship
World Drivers' Champion:
Timo Salonen
World Manufacturers' Champion:
Peugeot
Previous: 1984 Next: 1986

The 1985 World Rally Championship was the 13th season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) World Rally Championship (WRC). The season consisted of 12 rallies following the same schedule as the previous season. Peugeot Sport's Timo Salonen beat Audi Sport's Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl to the drivers' title. Peugeot won their first manufacturers' title, ahead of Audi and Lancia.

Contents

SummaryEdit

Peugeot Talbot Sport, having made a successful late-season entry to the Group B with their new Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 car, returned in 1985 for a full season with the car. Ari Vatanen, who had won three of the last four rallies of 1984 in the car, also returned with the team and in the first rally of the season, passed Walter Röhrl's Quattro in the snowy and icy terrain after incurring an eight-minute penalty caused by co-driver Terry Harryman's error. At the Swedish Rally, Vatanen won again, establishing himself as the early favorite for a driver's title, as well as putting Peugeot ahead of Audi.

A disaster struck in May at the Tour de Corse. On the 4th stage of the rally, Italian driver Attilio Bettega crashed his Lancia 037 into a tree and was killed instantly. His co-driver Maurizio Perissinot survived the crash uninjured. The crash raised questions about the safety aspects of Group B cars. Ironically, exactly one year later at the same event Henri Toivonen suffered a similar fatal accident forcing FIA to ban Group B.

Unfortunately, Vatanen had a major accident in Argentina while speeding down a long, straight road in top gear when his car crashed and rolled end-over-front. The flimsy exterior of the car shattered, but the strong rollcage absorbed most of the impact. The drivers were airlifted to hospital by Peugeot's helicopter, and Vatanen's injuries were severe and seemed life-threatening. Although he would recover and return to the sport, the Peugeot team was forced to turn to its other driver, Timo Salonen. Salonen had already taken the points lead and finished with the driver's championship on the strength of five rally wins.

 
Audi Sport Quattro driven in 1985

Audi Sport faced the dual pressure of Peugeot's strong 205 car in competition, and waning company commitment to the Quattro rally program. With the danger of Group B rally becoming a more publicized issue, the company was questioning its involvement in the sport unless major changes were made to improve safety. While both Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl were retained as drivers, they suffered generally at the hands of the Peugeot team although they would ultimately place second and third respectively. Their season however only included a single rally win between them, with Röhrl's triumph at Sanremo proving to be Audi's last Group B victory in the World Rally Championship.

The Lancia Martini team's season was an even greater disappointment than Audi's. The rear-wheel drive Lancia Sport 037 met with little success, even in the hands of such drivers as Markku Alén, Massimo Biasion, and Henri Toivonen. Toivonen would suffer an accident, breaking three vertebrae in his neck early on and missing most of the season.[1] The team awaited the arrival of the Delta S4, a four-wheel-drive car, hoping it would give them a competitive advantage. Arriving for the final rally of the season, the RAC Rally, it succeeded in collecting the victory and giving the team hope for competing in the following season.

Austin Rallying made its entrance to the rally scene with the new MG Metro 6R4 and its 3.0L V6 engine, taking a podium position at the RAC. Austin's success would be brief however, as the Metro would struggle in the final season of Group B competition in 1986. As with previous seasons, while all 12 events were calculated for tallying the drivers' scores, only 11 of the events applied to the championship for manufacturers. The event in 1985 which applied only to driver standings was Rallye Côte d'Ivoire.

Teams and driversEdit

Team Constructor Car Tyre Drivers Rounds
  Audi Sport Audi Quattro Sport M   Stig Blomqvist 1–4, 6–9
  Walter Röhrl 1–3, 5–7, 10, 12
  Hannu Mikkola 2, 4, 9, 12
  Per Eklund 2, 9, 12
  David Llewellin 2
  Malcolm Stewart 7
  Wilfred Wiedner 8
  Michèle Mouton 11
  Franz Braun 11
  Peugeot Talbot Sport Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
205 Turbo 16 E2
M   Ari Vatanen 1–8
  Timo Salonen 1–10, 12
  Bruno Saby 1, 4–5, 10
  Kenneth Eriksson 2
  Carlos Reutemann 8
  Kalle Grundel 9, 12
  Giovanni del Zoppo 10
  Mikael Sundström 12
  Martini Racing Lancia Rally 037 evo
Delta S4
P   Henri Toivonen 1, 9–10, 12
  Markku Alén 4–5, 9–10, 12
  Attilio Bettega 4–5
  Vic Preston Jr 4
  Jolly Club Lancia Rally 037 evo P   Miki Biasion 1, 3, 5, 10
  Dario Cerrato 10
  Citroën Competitions Citroën Visa M   Jean-Claude Andruet 1
  Philippe Wambergue 1
  Maurice Chomat 1
  Mazda Rally Team Europe Mazda RX-7 M   Ingvar Carlsson 2, 6, 12
  Achim Warmbold 6
  Rod Millen 12
  Opel Euro Team Opel Manta 400 M   Rauno Aaltonen 4
  Erwin Weber 4, 12
  Guy Fréquelin 5
  Russell Brookes 12
  Jimmy McRae 12
  Toyota Team Europe Toyota Celica TCT P   Björn Waldegård 4, 7, 9, 11–12
  Juha Kankkunen 4, 7, 9, 11–12
  Dave Horsey 4
  Team Nissan Europe Nissan 240RS D   Shekhar Mehta 4, 6–8
  Jayant Shah 4, 6, 8
  Mike Kirkland 4, 6, 11
  Alain Ambrosino 4, 11
  George Moschous 6
  Stratis Hatzipanayiotou 6
  Reg Cook 7
  Jim Donald 7
  Peter Geitel 9
  Terry Kaby 12
  Renault Elf Philips Renault R5 Maxi Turbo M   Jean Ragnotti 5
  François Chatriot 5
  Didier Auriol 5
  Rothmans Porsche Rally Team Porsche 911SC RS M   Bernard Beguin 5
  Billy Coleman 5
  Saeed Al-Hajri 6
  West Lancia Team Lancia Rally 037 evo P   Andrea Zanussi 6
  Mauro Pregliasco 6
  Austin Rover MG Metro 6R4 M   Tony Pond 12
  Malcolm Wilson 12
  Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi P   Jochi Kleint 3, 5–6, 10
  Franz Wittmann 3, 5–6, 10
  Subaru Motor Sport Subaru RX Turbo P   Mike Kirkland 7
  Possum Bourne 7
  Tony Teesdale 7

EventsEdit

MapEdit

 
Black = Tarmac Brown = Gravel Blue = Snow/ice Red = Mixed surface

Schedule and resultsEdit

Round Rally name Stages Podium finishers
Rank Driver Co-driver Car Time
1   Monte Carlo Rally
(26 January–1 February)
34 stages
852 km
Tarmac
1   Ari Vatanen   Terry Harryman Peugeot 205 T16 10:20:49
2   Walter Röhrl   Christian Geistdörfer Audi Sport 10:26:06
3   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 10:30:54
2   Swedish Rally
(15–17 February)
29 stages
505 km
Snow/Ice
1   Ari Vatanen   Terry Harryman Peugeot 205 T16 4:38:49
2   Stig Blomqvist   Björn Cederberg Audi Sport Quattro 4:40:38
3   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 4:42:15
3   Rally de Portugal
(6–9 March)
47 stages
733 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 8:07.25
2   Miki Biasion   Tiziano Siviero Lancia 037 8:12:12
3   Walter Röhrl   Christian Geistdörfer Audi Sport Quattro 8:13:23
4   Safari Rally
(4–8 April)
88 controls
5167.6 km
Gravel
1   Juha Kankkunen   Fred Gallagher Toyota Celica TCT +5:18 pen
2   Björn Waldegård   Hans Thorszelius Toyota Celica TCT +5:52 pen
3   Mike Kirkland   Anton Levitan Nissan 240RS +6:01 pen
5   Tour de Corse

(2–4 May)

29 stages
1078 km
Tarmac
1   Jean Ragnotti   Pierre Thimonier Renault R5 Maxi Turbo 12:54:15
2   Bruno Saby   Jean-François Fauchille Peugeot 205 Turbo16 E2 13:06:47
3   Bernard Béguin   Jean-Jacques Lenne Porsche 911 SC 13:20:04
6   Acropolis Rally

(27–30 May)

47 stages
807.8 km
Gravel
1   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 E2 10:20:19
2   Stig Blomqvist   Björn Cederberg Audi Sport Quattro 10:24:34
3   Ingvar Carlsson   Benny Melander Mazda RX-7 11:08:25
7   Rally New Zealand
(29 June–2 July)
46 stages
894 km
Gravel
1   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 E2 8:29:16
2   Ari Vatanen   Terry Harryman Peugeot 205 T16 E2 8:30:33
3   Walter Röhrl   Christian Geistdörfer Audi Sport Quattro 8:31:42
8   Rally Argentina
(31 July–3 August)
23 stages
959 km
Gravel
1   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 E2 10:04:33
2   Wilfred Wiedner   Franz Zehetner Audi Quattro A2 10:18:29
3   Carlos Reutemann   Jean-François Fauchille Peugeot 205 T16 E2 10:35:47
9   1000 Lakes Rally

(23–25 August)

50 stages
479 km
Gravel
1   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 E2 4:10:35
2   Stig Blomqvist   Björn Cederberg Audi Sport Quattro S1 4:11:23
3   Markku Alén   Ilkka Kivimäki Lancia 037 Rally 4:14:14
10   Rallye Sanremo

(29 September–4 October)

45 stages
650 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1   Walter Röhrl   Christian Geistdörfer Audi Sport Quattro S1 7:10:10
2   Timo Salonen   Seppo Harjanne Peugeot 205 T16 E2 7:16:39
3   Henri Toivonen   Juha Piironen Lancia 037 Rally 7:18:02
11   Rallye Côte d'Ivoire[2]

(30 October-3 November)

63 controls
4187 km
Gravel
1   Juha Kankkunen   Fred Gallagher Toyota Celica TCT +4:46 pen
2   Björn Waldegård   Hans Thorszelius Toyota Celica TCT +4:46 pen
3   Alain Ambrosino   Daniel Le Saux Nissan 240RS +6:19 pen
12   RAC Rally

(24–28 November)

63 stages
880 km
Gravel/Tarmac
1   Henri Toivonen   Neil Wilson Lancia Delta S4 9:32.05
2   Markku Alén   Ilkka Kivimäki Lancia Delta S4 9:33.01
3   Tony Pond   Rob Arthur MG Metro 6R4 9:34.32

StandingsEdit

DriversEdit

Rank Driver Event Total
points
 
MON
 
SWE
 
POR
 
KEN
 
FRA
 
GRC
 
NZL
 
ARG
 
FIN
 
ITA
 
CIV
 
GBR
1   Timo Salonen 12 12 20 4 - 20 20 20 20 15 - - 127
2   Stig Blomqvist 10 15 10 - - 15 10 - 15 - - - 75
3   Walter Röhrl 15 - 12 - - - 12 - - 20 - - 59
4   Ari Vatanen 20 20 - - - - 15 - - - - - 55
5   Juha Kankkunen - - - 20 - - - - - - 20 8 48
6   Henri Toivonen 6 - - - - - - - 10 12 - 20 48
7   Markku Alén - - - - - - - - 12 10 - 15 37
8   Björn Waldegård - - - 15 - - - - 4 - 15 - 34
9   Mike Kirkland - - - 12 - 4 - - - - 10 - 26

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Maruszewska, Witolda. "Henri Toivonen biography". Post 14. Archived from the original on 31 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-30.
  2. ^ Event not included in the Manufacturers' Championship

External linksEdit