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.

The races

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

1Thorbjörn CarlssonRalt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor36 pts3 wins
2Bengt TrägårdhMarch 803 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor24 pts2 wins
3Leo AnderssonRalt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor18 pts2 wins
4Tomas KaiserRalt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor16 pts 
5Kenneth JönssonRalt RT1/76 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor11 pts 
6Jan RidellArgo JM1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor8 pts 
7Jan HedströmMarch 763 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor4 pts 
8Kaal WirginRalt RT1 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor3 pts 
9=Olav RønningenRalt RT1/78 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor2 pts 
9=Ulf GranbergMartini MK27 - Renault2 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.