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  Home > Seasons > Season 1974
Fledgling that did not die
The single most important date of the 1974 season is 17th of October 1973. It was the date when Arab Oil Embargo was declared, raising oil prices through the roof and biting hard into motor industry. Effects of the embargo were fully felt in 1974 season even though already '73 Tour de Corse saw entries plummet to 50 crews.

WRC calendar shrunk down to eight events and future of whole series was in doubt. Monte Carlo and Sweden were cancelled and Portugal, first event of the season took place at the end of March, two days after embargo was partially lifted. But once threat began to fade, Championship got back to swing.

Italian battle
After Renault-Alpine's clean sweep previous season, 1974 took entirely different course. Renault managed only one win, that of Jean-Luc Therier's at USA and that was with 17 Gordini, not Alpine at all. Even on Corsica Renault-Alpine's rally was spoiled by Jean-Claude Andruet who had defected to Lancia and promptly won.

Italians Fiat and Lancia were determined to topple french from top. Initially things looked like going to Fiat's way as Turin team scored 1-2-3 in season opener, Portugal. But then Lancia Stratos, one of the most significant rally cars of all time, was unleashed. It was italian response to Renault-Alpine, purpose-built prototype rally car which was built in volume for public sales because of homologation requirements. Mated with talents of Sandro Munari this formidable car took two wins and makes title for Lancia.

Fiat fielded more drivers than Lancia but suffered both mechanical problems and driver errors, too often failing to score. Lancia was steadier and in the end superior, outscoring Fiat by half.

Drivers scoring their
first win
  R. Pinto (Portugal)
  J. Singh (Safari)
  H. Mikkola (Finland)
  S. Munari (San Remo)