Patrick Tambay in the Haas Lola T530 at Mid-Ohio in 1980.  Copyright Terry Capps 2013.  Used with permission.

Can-Am 1980

After three years of steady improvement, Can-Am was now blooming into one of the world's leading championships. Both Lola and Chevron produced new ground-effect Can-Am cars although Chevron's didn't race after disappointing test results. Patrick Tambay returned to Can-Am to drive a new Lola T530 for Carl Haas but he found the competition much tougher this time. VDS were Lola's leading customer team again with Geoff Brabham now in the driving seat and the Australian regularly outqualified Tambay in the latter half of the season. Newman Racing had given up their Spyders and also bought new T530s for Elliot Forbes-Robinson and Stephen South, and Garvin Brown Racing had yet another T530 for Danny Sullivan.

Competing with the Lolas were Al Holbert, now in his own team and driving a new Lee Dykstra-designed CAC-1 to two victories; Bobby Rahal driving U.S. Racing's new and supposedly ground-effect Prophet; and John Morton who had joined forces with Brad Frisselle Racing to drive their Lola T332-based Frissbee. After a couple of promising outings, Al Unser took over the Frissbee for Laguna Seca and blew away the opposition.

The races

25 May 1980 > Sears Point

08 Jun 1980 > Mid-Ohio

22 Jun 1980 > Mosport Park

05 Jul 1980 > Watkins Glen

20 Jul 1980 > Road America

10 Aug 1980 > Brainerd

24 Aug 1980 > Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

07 Sep 1980 > Road Atlanta

19 Oct 1980 > Laguna Seca

26 Oct 1980 > Riverside

1980 Can-Am Championship table

1Patrick TambayLola T53061 pts6 wins
2Al HolbertHolbert CAC-140 pts2 wins
3Geoff BrabhamLola T53026 pts1 win
4Elliot Forbes-RobinsonLola T53024 pts 
5Bobby RahalProphet19 pts 
6Danny SullivanIntrepid/Lola16 pts 
7Bobby BrownLola T333CS12 pts 
8Al UnserFrissbee9 pts1 win
9Keke RosbergLola T5309 pts 
10Stephen SouthLola T530
Spyder NF-11
8 pts 

Previous: the 1979 season

Next: the 1981 season