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Politics kill Stratos
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After three years of Lancia Stratos domination, the end came swiftly and from unexpected corner. Lancia was owned by Fiat and company decided to put more emphasis on promoting a mainstream product, in this case Fiat 131 Mirafiori. With Lancia effective out of the way, battle commenced between Fiat and Ford.

Both fielded what were traditional rally cars, powerful front-engined rear-wheel driven saloons, 131 Abarth and Escort RS respectively. Fiat routinely sent more drivers to rallies but with only best car scoring, the difference in points remained small all the way through.

For a first time championship was run in New Zealand, in an event called South Pacific Rally. Championship also returned to Canada which had not been visited for two seasons.

Fiat triumphs over Ford
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Waldegard, who had left Lancia previous season, was unquestionably the strongest driver around by being the only one to score more than one win. Much like Munari had in previous season. Unfortunately, Bjorn's feats were not enough to win title for Ford and even inaugural FIA Cup for Drivers is won by Munari.

Fiat's use of specialized drivers in various events meant that none of Fiat drivers won more than once but team scored one win more than rival Ford. Five maximum scores out of eight rallies counted to final score meant that Ford lost the title by mere four points.

Drivers scoring their
first win
  F. Bacchelli (New Zealand)
  K. Hamalainen (Finland)
  T. Salonen (Canada - Quebec)
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