Walter Wolf Racing

Walter Wolf Racing was a Formula One constructor active from 1977 to 1979, which won the very first race the team entered. It was owned and run by Canadian Walter Wolf. The team was based in Reading, UK[1] but raced with the Canadian licence.[2][3]

Wolf
WalterWolfRacing
Full nameWalter Wolf Racing
BaseReading, United Kingdom
Founder(s)Walter Wolf
Noted driversFinland Keke Rosberg
South Africa Jody Scheckter
United Kingdom James Hunt
United States Bobby Rahal
Previous nameWolf–Williams Racing
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1977 Argentine Grand Prix
Races entered48
ConstructorsWolf-Ford
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories3
Pole positions1
Fastest laps2
Final entry1979 United States Grand Prix

History

1975–77

In 1975, the Austrian naturalized Canadian businessman Walter Wolf had started to appear at many of the F1 races during the season. A year later, he bought 60% of Frank Williams Racing Cars while agreeing to keep Frank Williams as manager of the team. Simultaneously Wolf bought the assets of Hesketh Racing and bought some equipment from Embassy Hill, both teams having recently withdrawn from F1. The team was based in the Williams facility at Reading but used most of the cars and equipment once owned by Hesketh Racing. The Hesketh 308C became known as the Wolf–Williams FW05 and soon afterwards Harvey Postlethwaite arrived as chief engineer. Jacky Ickx and Frenchman Michel Leclère were hired to drive. The team, however, was not very competitive and failed to qualify at a number of races during the year. Leclère left after the French Grand Prix and was replaced by Arturo Merzario while Ickx failed to perform and was dropped after the British Grand Prix, to be followed by a string of pay-drivers.

Wolf WR6 2009 Lime Rock
Jody Scheckter's 1978 Wolf WR6 being driven at a Historic Grand Prix at the Lime Rock Park circuit in 2009.
Keke Rosberg 1979 Imola
Keke Rosberg with his Wolf WR8 and team members at the non-championship Dino Ferrari Grand Prix in 1979.

At the end of 1976, Wolf decided that the team needed restructuring. He removed Frank Williams from the manager's job and replaced him with Peter Warr from Team Lotus. Disillusioned, Williams soon left the team, taking Patrick Head and several others to set up Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Postlethwaite's WR1 was a conventional Cosworth package but with Jody Scheckter hired from Tyrrell, the team won its first race in Argentina. Scheckter started tenth, and took advantage of six of the cars ahead of him retiring. During the 1977 season, Scheckter went on to win the Monaco Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix and also six other podium finishes, which enabled him to finish second to Niki Lauda in the World Championship and gave Wolf fourth place in the Constructors' Championship.

Around this time the team developed the WD1 sports car for Can-Am racing. The car was developed with Italian firm Dallara.[4]

1978–79

The team remained the same for the 1978 season. Postlethwaite produced the WR5, a new car for the ground-effects era. This did not appear until the Belgian GP. Scheckter finished fourth in Spain and second in Germany but the WR5 soon made way for the WR6 with which he ended the year with a third in the US Grand Prix and second in Canada. He finished seventh in the World Championship.

In 1979, Scheckter was signed up by Ferrari and Wolf signed James Hunt to replace him. Postlethwaite designed the WR7 which ran with Olympus sponsorship. The car was not very successful and retired more than 7 times during the first half of the season. The WR8 soon followed. In mid-season Hunt decided to retire and Wolf quickly hired Keke Rosberg to replace him. The appearance of the WR9 did little to change the team's fortunes and at the end of the year Wolf grew tired of his F1 adventure and sold the team to Emerson Fittipaldi, who merged its assets into Fittipaldi Automotive.

A Wolf Racing WR1 is on display at the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.

As of 2015, a Wolf Racing WR4 is being shown and raced at vintage F1 car events in the United States, campaigned by MotoGP world champion Eddie Lawson.[5]

James Hunt's WR7 is on display at Brooklands Museum, Surrey, UK.

Other motorsport ventures

Walter Wolf was also involved in production cars, providing assistance to Lamborghini to develop the Countach as the Italian constructor teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.[6]

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1977 WR1
WR2
WR3
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 55 4th
South Africa Jody Scheckter 1 Ret 2 3 3 1 Ret Ret Ret Ret 2 Ret 3 Ret 3 1 10
1978 WR4
WR5
WR1
WR6
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 24 5th
South Africa Jody Scheckter 10 Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 4 Ret 6 Ret 2 Ret 12 12 3 2
United States Bobby Rahal 12 Ret
1979 WR7
WR8
WR9
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 0 14th
United Kingdom James Hunt Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Finland Keke Rosberg 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ Ret

References

  1. ^ "Case History". Corktree.tripod.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Canada's first Formula 1 team has wealthy backer, Scheckter". The Montreal Gazette. 10 November 1976. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  3. ^ "The story of Formula 1's first winning Wolf". 12 December 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  4. ^ Wolf Dallara WD1 – Photo Gallery – Racing Sports Cars
  5. ^ "Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion" (PDF). Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  6. ^ Lamborghini Classic & Collector Cars for Sale – viathema.com

Sources

  • "Wolf WR/1-4 1977–1978". Automobile Historique (in French) (48). May 2005.
  • Llorens, Frederick (2008). Wolf Racing, un loup en Formule 1 (in French). TheBookEdition. ISBN 978-2-9519955-3-6.
1976 German Grand Prix

The 1976 German Grand Prix (formally the XXXVIII Großer Preis von Deutschland) was a Formula One motor race held at the Nürburgring on 1 August 1976. It was the scene of reigning world champion Niki Lauda's near fatal accident, and the last Formula One race to be held on the Nordschleife section of the track. The 14-lap race was the tenth round of the 1976 Formula One season and was won by James Hunt.

1977 Race of Champions

The XII Race of Champions was a non-championship Formula One race held at Brands Hatch on 20 March 1977. John Watson qualified on pole, while James Hunt set fastest lap and won.

1979 French Grand Prix

The 1979 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 1 July 1979 at Dijon.

It marked the first victory of a turbocharged car in Formula One, with Renault overcoming the reliability problems that had initially plagued their car. For Jean-Pierre Jabouille it was a victory on home soil, driving a French car (Renault), on French tyres (Michelin), powered by a French engine (Renault), burning French fuel (Elf). Jabouille was the first Frenchman to win the French Grand Prix since Jean-Pierre Wimille in 1948.

The race is perhaps best remembered for one of the fiercest battles ever for second place, between Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve and Renault driver René Arnoux, who on several occasions during the final laps touched wheels and swapped positions. The fight is often cited as one of the most memorable pieces of racing in Formula One. Villeneuve, who passed the finish line less than a quarter of a second ahead of Arnoux, later described the occasion as "my best memory of Grand Prix racing".

1986 Belgian motorcycle Grand Prix

The 1986 Belgian motorcycle Grand Prix was the seventh round of the 1986 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on the weekend of 4–6 July 1986 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

1986 Dutch TT

The 1986 Dutch TT was the sixth round of the 1986 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. It took place on the weekend of 26–28 June 1986 at the TT Circuit Assen located in Assen, Netherlands.

FSO Polonez 2000 Rally

FSO Polonez 2000 Rally is a Polish rally car produced by the FSO and OBRSO in Warsaw. It was created in 1978 for the time after the release of serial FSO Polonez competed in numerous events, but not until 1 January 1979 has been approved for Group IV.

Frank Williams Racing Cars

Frank Williams Racing Cars was a British Formula One team and constructor.

Hans Binder

Hans Binder (born 12 June 1948 in Zell am Ziller, Innsbruck) is an Austrian former Formula One driver who raced for the Ensign, Wolf, Surtees and ATS teams.

He won the European Formula Ford Championship in 1972 and moved into Formula 2 in 1976. During this year he raced at his home Grand Prix and the Japanese GP. In 1977 he moved to the Surtees team and also raced three times for ATS. He then returned to Surtees before the end of the season. In 1978 he failed to qualify for his home Grand Prix with ATS before disappearing from the Formula One scene.

His brother Franz was also a racing driver, and his nephew René started competing in the IndyCar Series in 2018.

Hesketh 308D

The Hesketh 308D is a Formula One racing car built by the Hesketh Racing team in 1976. The car was based on the Hesketh 308 originally designed by Harvey Postlethwaite, and was powered by a 3-litre V8 Ford Cosworth DFV engine.

Anthony 'Bubbles' Horsley updated the 308 to the 308D to continue as Hesketh Racing after Postlethwaite moved to Walter Wolf Racing. Nigel Stroud was team chief engineer and Harald Ertl was signed to drive the 308D for the 1976 season, with the team being sponsored by Penthouse Magazine and Rizla. Guy Edwards joined in a second 308D car from the Belgian Grand Prix, and Alex Ribeiro brought in some funds later in the year. The team scored no World Championship points in 1976, with Ertl's 7th place at the British Grand Prix being the team's best result of the year.

Jody Scheckter

Jody David Scheckter (born 29 January 1950) is a South African former motor racing driver. He competed in Formula One from 1972 to 1980, winning the Drivers' Championship in 1979 with Ferrari.

Peter Warr

Peter Eric Warr (18 June 1938, Kermanshah, Iran – 4 October 2010, Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, France) was an English businessman, racing driver and a manager for several Formula One teams, including Walter Wolf Racing, Fittipaldi Automotive, and Team Lotus.

Walter Wolf

Walter Wolf (born 5 October 1939) is a Canadian oil-drilling equipment supplier who in the early 1970s made a fortune from the North Sea oil business and decided to join the world of Formula One (F1) motor racing.

Walter Wolf (cigarette)

Walter Wolf is a Croatian brand of cigarettes, currently owned and manufactured by the Tvornica Duhana Rovinj.

Walter Wolf (disambiguation)

Walter Wolf is a Canadian oil-drilling equipment supplier.

Walter Wolf is also the name of:

Walter Wolf (cartoon character), an Animaniacs character

Walter Wolf (politician) (1907–1977), German politician

Walter Wolf Racing, a Formula One constructor

Walter Wolf (cigarette), a Croatian brand of cigarettes

Warwick Brown

Warwick Brown (born 24 December 1949 in Sydney) is a former racing driver from Australia.

Wolf Racing Cars

Wolf Racing Cars is an Italian racing car constructor based in the Province of Brescia. It was founded in 2009 after Avelon Formula purchased the rights of Walter Wolf Racing.

Wolf WR1

The Wolf WR1 was a Formula One car built for the 1977 season by the Walter Wolf Racing team. Four examples of the car were produced. The first, completed well before the start of the season, was the WR1. Another two identical cars were built: WR2, finished ahead of the first race; and WR3, ready in March 1977. At the end of the season, a fourth car, WR4, was produced with slight adjustments, and WR1 was remodeled in similar fashion for 1978. The original car was driven exclusively by South African future 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter in 1977. WR3 and WR4 were also driven by fellow future World Champion Keke Rosberg in the 1978 season.

Wolf WR5

The Wolf WR5 was a Formula One racing car built for the 1978 Formula One season by the Walter Wolf Racing team. A further example of the model was built, and was given the chassis number WR6. They replaced the successful Wolf WR1 halfway through the 1978 season, trying to challenge the new ground effect Lotus 78. However, Wolf was unable to repeat their competitive performance of 1977, taking just three podium finishes with the WR5/6.

Wolf WR7

The Wolf WR7 was a Formula One car built for the 1979 season by the Walter Wolf Racing team. Three examples of the car were produced. The first was WR7. A second car, WR8, was built to the same specification, while a slightly modified car, WR9, first appeared at the British Grand Prix. The cars were driven by 1976 champion James Hunt and Keke Rosberg. The engine was a Ford Cosworth DFV.

Canada Walter Wolf Racing
2019 season
Former

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