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Best of the Cahier Archive: Alan Jones becomes World Champion, Canada 1980

Submitted by on November 18, 2010

This is the second post in a series of weekly photo specials showcasing the stunning images from the Cahier Archive. The collection, by photographers Bernard Cahier and his son Paul-Henri are part of a massive collection of 400 000 originals of which 17 000+ pictures are currently available on their website.

Today’s feature gallery contains images from the Canadian Grand Prix in 1980.

Much like the Formula One World Championship that was just decided, things were tight at the start of the penultimate race of the 1980 World Drivers’ Championship. Nelson Piquet and Alan Jones sat separated by a few meters on the grid of the 1980 Canadian Grand Prix; in first and second respectively, with one solitary point looming immensely between them in the drivers’ championship.

At such times, it’s all or nothing and racers don’t back down. And neither Jones nor Piquet did when they turned in to that first corner, colliding after Jones got the jump on Piquet at the start. Jones managed to get away with it, but Piquet, along with many of those behind him, didn’t, resulting in a massive multi-car shunt.

Piquet was able to jump into a spare car, and the race was on again.

He made it work as well, starting slowly but soon passing Pironi and then Jones, without incident this time, to take the lead once again and pull out a sizeable gap. Unfortunately, he may have made it work too hard, and suffered an engine blow-up as he neared mid-distance.

This put Jones back in the lead, with the World Drivers’ Championship well within his sights. A win now, with Piquet unable to score, would secure him the championship. The only thing in his way was a charging Pironi, albeit with a potential one minute penalty hanging over him.

Luckily for Jones, Pironi received the penalty, allowing Jones to cruise carefully to the finish and secure victory at the Canadian Grand Prix and take the 1980 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.

Images: TheCahierArchive©

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