1981 champion Jacques Villeneuve in the Doug Shierson Racing March 81A at Mid-Ohio.  Copyright Terry Capps 2013.  Used with permission.

North American Formula Atlantic 1981

Reigning champion Jacques Villeneuve stayed in Formula Atlantic for 1981 and romped to another title in the Doug Shierson Racing March 81A. He dominated the first half of the season beaten only by a guest appearance from Can-Am star Geoff Brabham at Long Beach. Nobody offered any concerted opposition but Rogelio Rodriguez in the Lane Sports Ralt amassed enough points from top six finishes to pip Witney Ganz' Terry Karges-run Ralt for third in the title race. Despite it being March's championship, Ralts were now numerically dominant. Of 195 recorded starts in the 1981 series, 90 were in Marchs and 100 in Ralts. The other five comprised an Argo JM5, a Chevron B45, the Hayashi 220A, the Johnston Jm3 and a Magnum FA81A. Furthermore, 65 of those Ralts starts were in brand new RT4/81s, compared with only 36 in the latest March 81As. Was this the final chapter in March's long dominance of Formula Atlantic?

The races

14 Mar 1981 > Long Beach

05 Apr 1981 > Mexico City

14 Jun 1981 > Mosport Park

28 Jun 1981 > Mid-Ohio

26 Jul 1981 > Road America

16 Aug 1981 > Edmonton

23 Aug 1981 > Westwood

06 Sep 1981 > Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

26 Sep 1981 > Montréal

1981 North American Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Jacques Villeneuve SrMarch 81A - Ford BDD166 pts4 wins
2Rogelio RodriguezRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD130 pts1 win
3Whitney GanzRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD124 pts1 win
4Norm HunterRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD105 pts 
5Allen BergRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD84 pts 
6Tommy GrunnahMarch 81A - Ford BDD82 pts 
7Tim CoconisRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD68 pts1 win
8=Dan MarvinRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD66 pts 
8=Mike RosenRalt RT4/81 - Ford BDD66 pts 
10Chris KneifelMarch 81A - Ford BDD56 pts 

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