On This Day: 1981

FIA president Jean Todt will, no doubt, be a busy man today. On 23 July 1981 Todt and his driver, Guy Frequelin, stepped out of a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus after four days of the Rally Codasur. Frequelin and Todt had, of course, kept a wary eye on Ari Vatanen and David Richards in their David Sutton-run Ford Escort RS1800. The mechanics ran into the stage to fix it and get the car moving again, only for Vatanen to crash towards the end of day two. Frequelin and Todt’s event wasn’t without incident, with plenty of punctures on the rough – and unusually dusty for a South American winter – roads. Unfortunately for Todt and Frequelin, that was close as they got to the 1981 title.

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