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IMSA team boss Taylor to race ex-Scheckter Wolf F1 car at Monaco Historic

Multiple Daytona 24 Hours winner Wayne Taylor will make a return to the cockpit aboard an ex-Jody Scheckter Wolf Formula 1 car at next month’s Monaco Historic Grand Prix.

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The boss of the Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti IMSA SportsCar Championship squad, who has won Daytona twice as a driver and four times as a team owner, purchased the 1978 Wolf-Cosworth WR4 last year to fulfil the twin ambitions of racing an F1 car and of competing at Monaco.

A full restoration has been undertaken ahead of South African-born Taylor’s race return after a 10-year absence on the streets of Monte Carlo on 11-12 May.

“When I set out as a racing driver, my ambition was to get to F1,” said Taylor whose single-seater career peaked with victory in the 1986 South African Formula 2 Championship.

“Over time you adjust your targets, but this kind of closes the book: I still wanted to drive an F1 car and thought I’d like to own one, and then go to Monaco.”

Taylor, 67, described a Wolf driven by Scheckter as his “perfect car” because he grew up next door to the 1979 F1 world champion’s elder brother, Ian, who also competed in F1.

“I remember before the 1977 season, when Jody joined Wolf, he and [team owner] Walter Wolf came over to Ian’s house for a barbecue,” he said.

“I was climbing up the fence to peak a look at them.”

The car has been restored by Hudson Historics in New York State and was given a first shakedown by Taylor at Putnam Park in Indiana in February before a first proper test this week at Daytona.

Kennedy was a winner with the car in the Aurora British F1 Championship in 1979

Kennedy was a winner with the car in the Aurora British F1 Championship in 1979

Photo by: Sutton Images

“I needed to get some proper mileage in the car before it was shipped to Europe, because track time will be limited when I get to Monaco,” he explained.

Taylor insisted that he will be taking a cautious approach when he competes in the ‘Gilles Villeneuve’ event for F1 machinery built between 1977 and 1980.

“I don’t think I am going to be really racing; I won’t be taking risks,” he said.

Taylor, who won the IMSA World Sports Car title in 1994 and 1996 and took the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype crown in 2005, last raced in 2014 when he made a one-off return to contest the Daytona 24 Hours alongside sons Ricky and Jordan at the wheel of a WTR Dallara-Chevrolet DP.

His previous start had come at Daytona four years before in 2010 and his last full season of driving was in the 2007 Grand-Am series.

The Wolf Taylor has purchased is the last of the four chassis built to Harvey Postlethwaite’s first design for the Anglo-Canadian team — Wolf type numbers were also chassis numbers.

Built for the 1978 season, it was raced by Scheckter at the Argentinian Grand Prix before it passed to the privateer Theodore Racing squad.

Keke Rosberg started the Dutch GP in WR4 that season before Theodore fielded it in the Aurora British F1 Championship in 1979-80.

David Kennedy won three races with the car in 1979, while Desire Wilson became the first and, so far, only female driver to win an F1 race when she triumphed at the Brands Hatch Aurora round in April 1980 in WR4.

Watch: BrrrakeF1 - Understanding How Race Data is Used in IMSA & WEC

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