US Formula Super Vee 1981
Thanks to its close links with Indycar racing and enthusiastic support from Porsche Audi, the US FSV series boomed in the early 1980s. Ralt RT5s had dominated the latter part of the previous season and were now the car to buy and March joined Lola and Argo in abandoning FSV. Of the other marques Gary Pratt took a surprise pole at Michigan in his Protofab Riley and Dave McMillan twice put his Autoresearch on the front row.
Rick Galles formed a new team for the 19-year-old Al Unser Jr and the experienced Bob Earl. Both had won races in the previous season, Earl having won both his appearances and Unser one of his two, and they were joined as pre-season favourites by 1977 European FSV champion Arie Luyendijk (who would later rename himself Luyendyk to help out the US press). Another leading contender from 1980, Pete Halsmer, missed the opening race in Frank Arciero's Ralt RT5/80 as he tried his luck in Atlantic and at the Indy 500. He and Unser then had a great battle through the season, finishing 1-2 in five of the nine races. Halsmer couldn't quite make up for missing that opening race and Unser took the title by just four points.
17 May 1981 > Charlotte
07 Jun 1981 > Milwaukee
11 Jul 1981 > Watkins Glen
25 Jul 1981 > Road America
09 Aug 1981 > Brainerd
06 Sep 1981 > Milwaukee
19 Sep 1981 > Michigan International Speedway
04 Oct 1981 > Riverside
31 Oct 1981 > Phoenix International Raceway
|1.||Al Unser Jr||Galles Racing Ralt RT5/81||98 pts||4 wins|
|2.||Pete Halsmer||Arciero Racing Ralt RT5/80||94 pts||3 wins|
|3.||Bob Earl||Galles Racing Ralt RT5/81||56 pts||1 win|
|4.||Arie Luyendijk||Wilbur Bunce March '81BE'||48 pts|
|5.||Dave McMillan||Centerline Wheels Autoresearch||43 pts|
Bob Cicconi took the other win, after much of the field had crashed out at Michigan, in his Bertils Racing Engines Ralt RT5/81. For a full review of the season, see Gordon Kirby's review in Autosport 17 Dec 1981 p23.