Swedish Formula 3 1980
Slim Borgudd's strong performance in 1979 in a one-year-old Ralt had disguised the decline of the Swedish series, but in 1980, that became all too clear. The only Swede to invest in new machinery in 1980 was Bengt Trägårdh - "Bent Trackrod" to the UK press - who had a March 803 and raced it in the early rounds of the British series before the start of the Swedish series. With most of the other top runners using 1976 equipment, Trägårdh took pole position at the opening round and was winning until his rear wing worked loose. He ignored the black flags which earned him disqualification and a ban from the second round. Thorbjörn Carlsson then beat him at Mantorp Park, and although Trägårdh won the last two races, Carlsson's points lead was too great.
For 1981, Sweden's national championship would be opened up to Formula Super Vee and Formula Ford 2000 cars.
04 May 1980 > Mantorp Park
26 May 1980 > Kinnekullering
08 Jun 1980 > Karlskoga
29 Jun 1980 > Mantorp Park
06 Jul 1980 > Falkenburg
10 Aug 1980 > Kvällspostens Newsrace at Knutstorp
24 Aug 1980 > Anderstorp
28 Sep 1980 > Kinnekullering
Svenska Formel 3 Mästerskapet events shown in bold
1980 Svenska Formel 3 Mästerskapet table
|1||Thorbjörn Carlsson||Ralt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||36 pts||3 wins|
|2||Bengt Trägårdh||March 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||24 pts||2 wins|
|3||Leo Andersson||Ralt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||18 pts||2 wins|
|4||Tomas Kaiser||Ralt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||16 pts|
|5||Kenneth Jönsson||Ralt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||11 pts|
|6||Jan Ridell||Argo JM1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||8 pts|
|7||Jan Hedström||March 763 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||4 pts|
|8||Kaal Wirgin||Ralt RT1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||3 pts|
|9=||Olav Rønningen||Ralt RT1/78 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor||2 pts|
|9=||Ulf Granberg||Martini MK27 - Renault||2 pts|
Points table constructed from results by Chris Townsend.
With Chevron now out of business, and Ralt struggling to get the RT3 to work until too late in the year, Formula 3 in Europe was a battle between March and Martini, and more specifically a battle between the Euroracing team of March's Italian agent Paolo Pavanello, and the ELF-backed, Renault-powered Automobile Martini from France, run by Hugues de Chaunac. The March 803 was an exceedingly difficult car, with a deservedly dreadful reputation for understeer and turn in problems, but a narrower nose and inboard rear suspension kit transformed it. The Martini MK31 was much simpler, just a tidied up evolution of the MK27, and was the dominant car at the start of the season, only to be outclassed later by the March and Ralt as those ground-effect designs were developed.
See Autosport's European Formula 3 seasonal survey: 20 Nov 1980 pp37-39.