1975 WRC Season Commentary

1975 WRC Summary by Chris Biewer :

We come to a calendar that should become traditional for many years. Best 7 results score.

This means we lose both Northern American rallies from the 1974 season. Both were badly supported by public and authorities. As an example the USA Press on Regardless Rally 1974 had an incident with Sherifs trying to stop rally cars on a stage for speeding! The Northern Americans never really understood this "Rally Car Racing". (This is already the first hint they didn't understand it. It's a rally, not a race! What is rally car racing? Ever heard of power boat swimming? Or how about horse back riding? Uups, that really excists in America too, just every time I hear that I wonder what other part of a horse do American ladies want to ride... sorry, back to subject...) Tho another try, the Rallye du Quebec in the French speaking part of Canada in the late 1970s was a success, but in the mid 1980s the USA Olympus Rally again was hampered by a lack of local understanding.

The Moroccan Rallye returns after a scheduled break in 1974 and in its 1975 edition becomes the longest WRC event in history. Mikkola/Todt win in their Peugeot 504 "3504 QT 25" with a competition time of 23h30m48s, yes this is 6 times a modern WRC event! At first glance the Moroccan Rallye doesn't look too different to a modern WRC event: 3 legs, the last leg is a short one with only 3 stages - would it not be for the penultimate stage "Transmoroccaine" alone being 776km long, making this the longest stage in WRC history! Nope, no misprint, 1 stage the length of more than 2 whole modern WRC rallies!

Peugeot delivers a perfect show case that still some traditional makes couldn't care less about the WRC. Peugeot loudly celebrates "We won every major African rally this year". They did, the 504 was untouchable in Safari, Morocco and Bandama. 2 of these events were part of the WRC. On both occasions Peugeot took the full 20points. With only 2 "coincidential" WRC starts Peugeot comes 5th in the championship. After Morocco and at the mid-season point Peugeot is even 2nd out of 16 scoring manufacturers in the WRC, yet there is never an attempt to improve or even just keep that position, nor is there ever a mention of WRC standings in Peugeot's big African rally victories marketing campaigns.

To the same extend Ford. Mid 1975 Escort models change from Mk1 to Mk2. Both are amongst the most famous rally cars of the 1970s. Yet until 1977 works supported Fords never competed on more than 3 WRC events in a season!

At least the 1975 season sees an increasing interest by Opel. Walter Röhrl and Opel take their first WRC victory in the Acropolis Rally, but for the titles it is once again a clear Lancia victory ahead of Renault-Alpine.
 

1975 WRC Factory Team and Driver Line Ups :
 

Lancia Lancia, 1975 - Alitalia Lancia Abarth : 1st on 96 points.
 

 

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Renault Renault, 1975 - Régie Renault : 2nd on 62 points.
 

 

No

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Fiat Fiat, 1975 - Olio Fiat Abarth : 3rd on 61 points.
 

 

No

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Opel Opel, 1975 - Opel Euro Händler : 4th on 58 points.
 

 

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Peugeot Peugeot, 1975 - Peugeot Sport : 5th on 40 points.
 

 

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Ford Ford, 1975 - Ford RS Rallye Sport Team : 6th on 35 points.
 

 

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Toyota Toyota, 1975 - Andersson Motorsport : 7th on 32 points.
 

 

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Saab Saab, 1975 - Saab : 8th on 30 points.
 

 

No

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Nissan Nissan, 1975 - Nismo Datsun : 9th on 26 points.
 

 

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Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo, 1975 - Alfa Romeo Jolly Club : 10th on 23 points.
 

 

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Mitsubishi Mitsubishi, 1975 - Singh/Cowan : 11th on 22 points.
 

 

No

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Citroën Citroën, 1975 - Citroën Sport : 12th on 13 points.
 

 

No

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Porsche Porsche, 1975 - Porsche AG : 13th on 12 points.
 

 

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Volvo Volvo, 1975 - Volvo : 14th on 9 points.
 

 

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Skoda Skoda, 1975 - Skoda Fabric : 16th on 4 points.
 

 

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