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  Home > Seasons > Season 1980
Fiat is back and Rohrl champion
In previous season Fiat had held low profile, allowing Ford to capture championship title with relative ease. But for 1980 Ford decides to withdraw, suprisingly because they debuted new Mk3 Escort. That car was front-wheel driven and thought to have no chances against established rally cars. As it was Ford's policy not to rally cars no longer in production, they withdrew. That left Fiat practically with no opposition and team bowed, capturing the title.

In drivers' series it was Rohrl's triumph as he won four rallies and was second in two others, outscoring his nearest rival by huge margin. At the end of the season he signed to Mercedes only to discover that team soon after that decided to quit the sport, leaving him without a drive for 1981.

Something new
World Rally Championship expanded to South America when WRC event was held in Argentina for a first time, called Rally Codasur for a time being. Rally was an immediate hit, crowds coming out in thousands to see Grand Prix driver Carlos Reutemann (he finished third).

Three new drivers won their first WRC rally in 1980. First one was Anders Kullang in Swedish rally, then came first win for now matured Ari Vatanen in Acropolis but biggest sensation was Henri Toivonen's RAC win. He was only slightly over 24 years old, becoming youngest driver until then to win a WRC event.

Drivers scoring their
first win
  A. Kullang (Sweden)
  A. Vatanen (Acropolis)
  H. Toivonen (Great Britain)
first drivers' point
  A. Kullang (Monte Carlo)
  J. Kleint (Monte Carlo)
  S. Servia (Monte Carlo)
  I. Carlsson (Sweden)
  B. Nilsson (Sweden)
  J. Recalde (Portugal)
  M. Stawowiak (Portugal)
  'Ray' (Portugal)
  J. Hellier (Safari)
  Y. Iwashita (Safari)
  T. Makinen (Acropolis)
  T. Livieratos (Acropolis)
  C. Reutemann (Argentina)
  D. de Vitta (Argentina)
  J. Lefebvre (Argentina)
  F. Alcuaz (Argentina)
  N. Veiga (Argentina)
  F. West (Argentina)
  J. Maggi (Argentina)
  P. Geitel (Finland)
  H. Enomaa (Finland)
  M. Chandler (New Zealand)
  P. Davidson (New Zealand)
  G. Fury (New Zealand)
  G. McIntyre (New Zealand)
  H. Toivonen (San Remo)
  A. Zordan (San Remo)
  G. Bernocchi (San Remo)
  M. Paolieri (San Remo)
  J. Therier (Corsica)
  B. Saby (Corsica)
  C. Gardavot (Corsica)
  J. Farrucci (Corsica)
  J. Bagarry (Corsica)
  B. Danielsson (Great Britain)
  G. Hill (Great Britain)
  J. Vincens (Ivory Coast)
  S. Assef (Ivory Coast)
  N. Saad (Ivory Coast)
first stage win
  B. Johansson (Sweden)
  H. Toivonen (Portugal)
  J. Kleint (Acropolis)
  D. Cerrato (San Remo)
  B. Saby (Corsica)
  T. Brise (Great Britain)
  S. van der Merwe (Great Britain)
  G. Elsmore (Great Britain)
  M. Sundstrom (Great Britain)