A wolf in the sheepfold

22. Dec 2021 
by Ziv Knoll

Walter Wolf Racing was a Formula One constructor active from 1977 to 1979 which, incredible achievement, won the first race the team entered. It was owned and run by Canadian Walter Wolf.

Picture above: Jody Scheckter in his Wolf WR1-Cosworth, storms to third place at the 1977 US Grand Prix West, held in the streets of Long Beach, California.

In 1976, the Austrian naturalised Canadian businessman Walter Wolf, bought 60% of Frank Williams Racing Cars and the assets of Hesketh Racing, while agreeing to keep Frank Williams as manager. The team, however, was not competitive and failed to qualify in a number of races.

At the end of 1976, Wolf decided that the team needed restructuring. He replaced Frank Williams by Peter Warr (from Lotus) and asked engineer Harvey Postlethwaite to design a new car. The WR1 was a conventional and clever concept, powered by the reliable Cosworth engine, and with Jody Scheckter, hired from Tyrrell, the team won its first race in Argentina.

During the 1977 season, Scheckter, excellent, went on to win the Monaco and the Canadian Grand Prix, and also six other podium finishes, which enabled him to finish second to Niki Lauda (Ferrari) in the World Championship and gave Wolf fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Picture below: Walter Wolf and driver Jody Scheckter in the pits at the 1977 Argentinian Grand Prix.

Source: DR

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