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Roberto Guerrero in the Argo JM6 at Thruxton in 1980.  Copyright Michael C. Brown 2010.  Used with permission.

British Formula 3 1980

Three real talents contested the 1980 British F3 title, Stefan Johansson, Kenneth Acheson and Roberto Guerrero. Johannson started the year in a Marlboro Project Four March 803 and developed a points lead until Acheson swapped his 803 for an older and easier to drive 793 and became the man to beat. Guerrero then took up the chase in the works Argo JM6 and each had won five races by the season's July/August break. The momentum swung decisively when Johansson took delivery of a Ralt RT3 and swept the last four races, snatching the title by just two points from his two rivals.

Although the ground-effect RT3 had shown promise in 1979, none were raced in Britain at the start of the season and March 803s were numerically dominant. But the 803 was a very new design, based on the ground-effect F2 792 design, and it took some time to get it working properly. A mid-season update kit transformed it, but the reputational damage was done and March's grip on Formula 3 was significantly weakened.

The races

02 Mar 1980 > Silverstone

09 Mar 1980 > Thruxton

30 Mar 1980 > Brands Hatch

07 Apr 1980 > Thruxton

20 Apr 1980 > Silverstone

27 Apr 1980 > Howitt Printing Trophy at Donington Park

06 May 1980 > Thruxton

11 May 1980 > Snetterton

18 May 1980 > Monaco Grand Prix Formula 3 Race at Monte Carlo

26 May 1980 > Silverstone

01 Jun 1980 > Cadwell Park

08 Jun 1980 > Silverstone

29 Jun 1980 > Brands Hatch

06 Jul 1980 > Silverstone

13 Jul 1980 > Brands Hatch

20 Jul 1980 > Oulton Park

25 Aug 1980 > Silverstone

07 Sep 1980 > Bradford & Bingley Trophy at Silverstone

14 Sep 1980 > Leinster Trophy at Mondello Park

28 Sep 1980 > Mallory Park

05 Oct 1980 > Silverstone

18 Oct 1980 > Oulton Park

26 Oct 1980 > Thruxton

08 Nov 1980 > Wendy Wools Formula 3 Race at Thruxton

Championship events shown in bold

1980 Vandervell British Formula 3 Championship table

1Stefan JohanssonMarch 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
March 803B - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
97 pts6 wins
2Kenneth AchesonMarch 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
March 793 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
March 803B - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
95 pts5 wins
3Roberto GuerreroArgo JM6 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor95 pts5 wins
4Thierry TassinArgo JM6 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor59 pts2 wins
5Rob WilsonRalt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor40 pts 
6Mike WhiteMarch 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
March 803B - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
37 pts1 win
7Brett RileyMarch 783/793 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
March 803B - Alfa Romeo Novamotor
20 pts1 win
8David SearsArgo JM6 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
19 pts 
9Nigel MansellMarch 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor15 pts 
10Eddie JordanMarch 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
March 793 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
15 pts 

Previous: the 1979 season

Next: the 1981 season

Points table from Autosport 20 November 1980 p32.

Almost everyone used Toyota engines, but Dave Price Racing and the works March team tried Alfa Romeo engines in March 803s. A Titan-built Chevrolet Vega was used in another 803, and an old Triumph Dolomite engine appeared in an older March.