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  Wolf WR1 Cosworth

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Country of origin:Canada
Produced from:1977 - 1978
Numbers built:4 (WR1 - WR4)
Designed by:Harvey Postlethwaite
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter supporting the Frank Williams run Formula team in the 1975 season, Walter Wolf formed his own team in 1976. The Austrian born Canadian decided to some of his hard-earned oil-money in Grand Prix racing. For his first season as a team owner he used three ex-Williams/Hesketh chassis. Being at least a season old, it came as no surprise that the results of the second hand cars were no better than mediocre.

Frustrated by the poor results, Wolf assembled a group of talented designers to construct a completely new car for the 1977 season. Appointed as chief designer was Harvey Postlethwaite, who made his successful debut designing the Grand Prix winning Hesketh. His design for Wolf was much along the lines of most of the 1970s 'Cosworth kit-cars'. It consisted of an aluminium monocoque with a Cosworth DFV engine bolted directly onto it as a stressed member.

Livered in dark blue and gold, the WR1 made its debut in the 1977 season opening Argetinian Grand Prix. The team's principle driver was the young South African talent Jody Scheckter. The 1976 season was long forgotten after the WR1's stunning debut, in which Scheckter drove the brand new car to a victory. He kept his good form throughout the season, scoring many podium finishes and two more victories, one at Monaco and one at the team's home Grand Prix in Canada. Like Postlethwaite's Heskeths, the WR1 featured an extra bolted on front wing at some Grands Prix.

The WR1 served on for the first races of the 1978 season, but with little success. Ground effects had taken over and WR1's replacement, the WR5, was the team's first ground effects racer. Unfortunately it was not as competitive as the WR1 was in the 1977 season. Scheckter left to drive for Ferrari at the end of the season. The 1979 season was even worse and proved to be the last for Walter Wolf. The team's 1979 cars were purchased by the Fittipaldi team. Wolf's protege, Scheckter, was very successful at Ferrari and took the World Championship for the 'Scuderia'.

In all four of the first Wolf were produced, WR1 - WR4. In the last of the four, Desire Wilson recorded the first victory in a F1 racer in the 1980 Brands Hatch race of the British National Championship. Featured is the first of them in which Scheckter scored the team's three victories. It is pictured at the Force Grand Prix race which was part of the 2003 Zolder Historic Grand Prix, it took the victory in both feature races.

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  Article Image gallery (9) Specifications User Comments (3)