The year of The Stig
Celebrating the 35th anniversary of Stig Blomqvist's World Rally Championship.
During the golden era of World Rally, the ‘real’ Stig – Stig Blomqvist – blasted to victory with five race wins in the 1984 Championship to claim the drivers’ title and Audi Sport, its second brand championship.
16 October, 2019
The term ‘legend’ is bandied around a great deal these days, but there are few in any field who genuinely deserve the title. Stig Blomqvist – the original Stig – is one individual who throughly deserves the title and then some.
The master of ice, is considered one of the great names in world rally circles, a master of car control at – and often way past – the limits of adhesion. His skill behind the wheel saw him reach the very heights of world rallying during what is considered the golden age of the sport, and a time when Audi Sport and quattro completely changed the landscape of the sport.
The flying Swede started his rallying career almost as soon as he got his driver’s licence at age 18 and immediately set about writing his name in the record books wherever he drove.
As a youngster he cut his teeth around Sweden dominating the scene there, before landing himself a works drive with Saab.
But it was in late 1982, that Blomqvist and his co-driver, Björn Cederberg, caught the eye of the powerful Audi Sport team, and so began what would be the most famous phase in his illustrious driving career.
But it was in late 1982, that Blomqvist and his co-driver, Björn Cederberg, caught the eye of the powerful Audi Sport team
In 1984, Blomqvist was the man to beat, but alas for the competition, that was a great deal easier said than done
Driving alongside such greats as Hannu Mikkola and Michèle Mouton, Blomqvist showed the Audi Sport talent scouts that their faith in him was well placed, winning the San Remo Rally at his very first race for the team. He went on to win his home rally (the Swedish Rally) and placed second in the 1000 Lakes Rally. He finished the season with fourth place in the drivers’ world championship and secured his position with the Audi Sport team.
There was no doubting his talent, and the combination of the Stig and the awe-inspiring power and grip of the Audi Quattro cars became a part of motorsport legend.
In 1984, Blomqvist was the man to beat, but alas for the competition, that was a great deal easier said than done. He secured wins in Sweden (again), Greece, New Zealand and Argentina to arrive at the Ivory Coast Rally nearly 35 years to the day, with an unassailable lead in the drivers’ championship and with Audi also sitting well clear of the opposition in the manufacturers’ championship.
Blomqvist went on to win the Ivory Coast Rally – his fifth win of the season – to put the result beyond any shadow of a doubt and the world championship was his. His final tally of 125 points put him well ahead of Audi Sport teammate and defending champion, Hannu Mikkola, who finished runner up. His victory also gave Audi Sport its second manufacturers’ title (the first in 1982), beating runners up, Lancia, by a clear margin.
Stig Blomqvist would go to finish the following season in second place outright and he continued driving and completed his last World Rally event in 2006. His list of achievements are well credentialed, and include two Champion of Champions Titles (1989 and 1990) and his extraordinary seven Rally of Sweden wins.
But it is that completely dominant 1984 season that remains The Stig’s crowning glory.
Blomquist went on to win the Ivory Coast Rally – his fifth win of the season – to put the result beyond any shadow of a doubt
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