Pacific Racing

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Pacific Racing logo.png
Full namePacific Grand Prix (1994)
Pacific Team Lotus (1995)
BaseThetford, United Kingdom
Founder(s)Keith Wiggins
Noted staffAdrian Reynard
Frank Coppuck
Noted driversFrance Paul Belmondo
France Bertrand Gachot
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi
Switzerland Jean-Denis Délétraz
Italy Andrea Montermini
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1994 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races entered33 (40 starts from 66 entries)
Race victories0 (best finish: 8th, 1995 German and Australian Grands Prix)
Pole positions0 (best grid position: 19th, 1995 Japanese Grand Prix)
Fastest laps0
Final entry1995 Australian Grand Prix

Pacific Racing (later known as Pacific Grand Prix, and finally as Pacific Team Lotus) was a motor racing team from the United Kingdom. Following success in lower formulae, the team took part in two full seasons of Formula One, in 1994 and 1995, entering 33 Grands Prix without any success.

Origins and success in lower formulae[edit]

David Coulthard's Pacific Racing Formula 3000 Reynard from 1993.

The team was founded by former mechanic Keith Wiggins in 1984, to race in the European Formula Ford Championship, with Norwegian driver Harald Huysman and Marlboro backing. Huysman won both the European and Benelux titles. On Huysman's advice, Pacific entered Bertrand Gachot in British Formula Ford with a Reynard in 1985. The following year, Gachot, also part of the Marlboro World Championship team, won the Formula Ford 2000 crown for Pacific. Marlboro stayed with Wiggins' team in FF2000 in 1987, winning the British title with JJ Lehto.

In 1988, Pacific entered the British F3 Championship with Lehto and a Reynard car, and won the title on their first attempt. Wiggins did not want to stay in F3 and moved up to Formula 3000, once more in association with Reynard and Marlboro. However, Lehto and Eddie Irvine's season was disappointing and the tobacco company's support moved to rival DAMS in 1990. The team returned to form in 1991, taking Christian Fittipaldi to the F3000 crown.

Formula One[edit]

Bertrand Gachot during the latter half of 1994.
Gachot driving for Pacific at the 1995 British Grand Prix.

Pacific Racing had won in every junior category it had participated in, and by 1992 Wiggins was determined that it would make the step up to F1 for the 1993 season, in the process renaming the team as Pacific Grand Prix. Lacking an in-house engineering staff and conscious of how limited his timescale was, Wiggins contacted F3000 constructor Reynard Racing to design and build the new PR01 chassis, hoping to benefit from several years of research and development that Reynard had invested in their recently scrapped in-house F1 project. Unfortunately for Pacific, the Rory Byrne-led design team had gone to Benetton at the end of 1991 and Reynard had sold the design (still in form of paper drawings) to Ligier. The small PR01 design team, working at Reynard but nominally employed by Pacific to conform to FIA Regulations, were forced to start a new design based on what little of the Reynard F1 research remained and utilizing a number of minor components from Reynard's F3000 chassis in an attempt to constrain costs. With their roots in the same project, the resulting Benetton B193, Ligier JS37 and Pacific PR01 shared the same slab-sided, raised-nose profile that later became standard in Formula One.

They instead postponed their entry in January 1993[1] because of a recession and resulting failure of investors to pay up.[citation needed]

They were unable to enter F1 until 1994. The year was a disaster. Paul Belmondo and former Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot (who was a shareholder in the team) started the season as drivers, with Oliver Gavin testing. The PR01, designed for the 1993 season, had undergone none of the vital wind tunnel testing required to refine the car's aerodynamics, had seen only a few dozen miles of track testing and its Ilmor 3.5 L V10 engine was underpowered by 1994 standards. That season the team failed to score a point or finish a single race, and from the French Grand Prix onwards, neither car qualified.

Aiming for a fresh start in 1995, Pacific made a deal with the owner of the former Team Lotus to enter as "Pacific Team Lotus". Although no staff, equipment or technology came to the team as a result, the aim was for Pacific to benefit from association with the famous Lotus name.[2] The obsolete Ilmor engines had been replaced by Ford ED V8s and a whole host of new sponsors were brought in. Good news also came when the PR02 was guaranteed a start each race, with Larrousse and Lotus disappearing from the entry lists and only Forti coming in. An embarrassing moment happened during the reveal of the car when it took Wiggins 25 minutes to open a bottle of champagne. Belmondo had been replaced with Andrea Montermini. Having had no luck in the first half of the season, team partner Gachot vacated his seat in mid-1995, making way for paydrivers Giovanni Lavaggi (four races, four DNFs) and Jean-Denis Délétraz (two races, one DNF, one NC). Gachot later returned after the money of the two pay-drivers dried up and two drivers Wiggins wanted to run (Formula Nippon driver Katsumi Yamamoto for Okayama and Suzuka and test driver Oliver Gavin for Australia) were denied superlicences. Pacific's best finishes that season were 8th in the German and Australian Grands Prix.

Withdrawal and aftermath[edit]

At the end of the 1995 season, the team withdrew from Formula One and Wiggins went back to Formula 3000, resurrecting Pacific Racing with Patrick Lemarié and Cristiano da Matta as drivers, but was unable to recapture the success of the pre-F1 era. Both were replaced by Oliver Tichy and Marc Gené for the following season; Gené left the team after his accident at Pau, and Tichy continued alone until the team quit mid-season. In 1997 Wiggins also attempted to enter sportscar racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a heavily modified BRM chassis known as the P301 and using Nissan engines. Following a series of failures for the project into 1998, Wiggins closed the team.

Wiggins joined Lola and helped the constructor reclaim ground in the Champ Car World Series. With a foothold in the United States, the mechanic-turned-team manager joined up with the Herdez brewery and in 2000 acquired Bettenhausen Motorsports, renaming it HVM Racing. In 2006, Paul Stoddart, former owner of the Minardi F1 team, bought an interest in the team and renamed it Minardi Team USA; the team reverted to the HVM Racing name after American open-wheel reunification two years later, before leaving the sport at the end of 2012 season.

Racing record[edit]

Results summary[edit]

Year Championship Car # Driver(s) Races Wins Poles Fastest
1984 Benelux Formula Ford 1600[3] Norway Harald Huysman 1st
European Formula Ford 1600[3] Norway Harald Huysman 1st
1985 British Formula Ford 1600[3] Reynard Belgium Bertrand Gachot
1986 British Formula Ford 2000[3] Reynard Belgium Bertrand Gachot 1st
1987 British Formula Ford 2000[4] Finland JJ Lehto 1st
European Formula Ford[4] Finland JJ Lehto 1st
1988 British Formula Three[4][5][6] Reynard 883-Toyota Finland JJ Lehto 18 8 6 11 113 1st n/a
United Kingdom John Alcorn 21* 7th
United States Evan Demoulas 8 0 0 0 0 NC
Macau Grand Prix[7] 2 Finland JJ Lehto 1 0 0 0 n/a Ret n/a
1989 International Formula 3000 Reynard 89D-Mugen 24 United Kingdom Eddie Irvine 10 0 0 0 11 9th 7th
25 Finland JJ Lehto 9 0 0 0 6 13th
United Kingdom Allan McNish 1 0 0 0 0 NC
1990 International Formula 3000 Lola T90/50-Mugen 24 Canada Stéphane Proulx 11 0 0 1 0 NC NC
25 Brazil Marco Greco 2 0 0 0 0 NC
Canada Claude Bourbonnais 2 0 0 0 0 NC
1991 International Formula 3000 Reynard 91D-Mugen 29 Italy Antonio Tamburini 10 1 0 1 22 4th 1st
30 Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 10 2 4 1 47 1st
1992 International Formula 3000 Reynard 92D-Mugen 1 France Laurent Aïello 10 0 0 0 3 13th 4th
2 Spain Jordi Gené 10 1 1 0 21 5th
1993 International Formula 3000 Reynard 93D-Cosworth 8 United Kingdom David Coulthard 9 1 0 2 25 3rd 4th
9 Germany Michael Bartels 7 0 0 0 4 =11th
United Kingdom Phil Andrews 2 0 0 0 0 NC
1994 Formula One Pacific PR01-Ilmor 33 France Paul Belmondo 16 0 0 0 0 NC NC
34 France Bertrand Gachot 16 0 0 0 0 NC
1995 Formula One Pacific PR02-Ford 16 France Bertrand Gachot 11 0 0 0 0 NC NC
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi 4 0 0 0 0 NC
Switzerland Jean-Denis Délétraz 2 0 0 0 0 NC
17 Italy Andrea Montermini 16 0 0 0 0 NC
1996 International Formula 3000 Lola T96/50-Zytek 28 France Patrick Lemarié 16 0 0 0 2 =13th 7th
29 Brazil Cristiano da Matta 16 0 0 0 7 =8th
1997 International Formula 3000 Lola T96/50-Zytek 14 Austria Oliver Tichy 8 0 0 0 14* 7th 9th
15 Spain Marc Gené 2 0 0 1 0 NC
Intl. Sports Racing Series BRM P301-Nissan 14 Austria Franz Konrad
United Kingdom Richard Dean
Germany Wido Rössler
1 0 0 0 0 NC NC
24 Hours of Le Mans 14 Chile Eliseo Salazar
Finland Harri Toivonen
Spain Jesús Pareja
1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a
1998 Intl. Sports Racing Series BRM P301-Nissan 14 United Kingdom Tim Sugden
South Africa Grant Orbell
United Kingdom William Hewland
2 0 0 0 0 NC NC

* Including points scored for other teams.

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]



Year Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Points TC
1989 Reynard 89D Mugen V8 A SIL VAL PAU JER PER BRH BIR SPA BUG DIJ 17 7th
United Kingdom Eddie Irvine DNS Ret DSQ Ret 3 Ret 6 9 4 4
Finland JJ Lehto DSQ Ret 4 6 Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret
United Kingdom Allan McNish 8
Canada Stéphane Proulx 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 7
Brazil Marco Greco DNQ DNQ
Canada Claude Bourbonnais DNQ DNQ
1991 Reynard 91D Mugen V8 A VAL PAU JER MUG PER HOC BRH SPA BUG NOG 69 1st
Italy Antonio Tamburini 3 10 4 7 4 6 5 Ret 1 Ret
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi 2 2 1 3 DSQ 4 3 Ret 2 1
1992 Reynard 92D Mugen V8 A SIL PAU CAT PER HOC NUR SPA ALB NOG MAG 24 4th
France Laurent Aïello Ret Ret Ret 11 10 5 6 Ret 7 Ret
Spain Jordi Gené 1 Ret 3 Ret 5 8 2 Ret 8 10
1993 Reynard 93D Cosworth V8 A DON SIL PAU PER HOC NUR SPA MAG NOG 29 4th
United Kingdom David Coulthard 13 2 2 1 Ret 7 3 Ret Ret
Germany Michael Bartels Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
United Kingdom Phil Andrews DSQ 13
1996 Lola T96/50 Zytek V8 A NUR PAU PER HOC SIL SPA MAG EST MUG HOC 9 7th
France Patrick Lemarié 12 5 13 10 8 Ret 8 15 Ret 8
Brazil Cristiano da Matta 9 4 5 Ret Ret 10 5 7 20 Ret
1997 Lola T96/50 Zytek V8 A SIL PAU HEL NUR PER HOC A1R SPA MUG JER 8 9th
Austria Oliver Tichy 8 8 2 9 Ret 7 5 Ret
Spain Marc Gené 13 DNQ

Complete Formula One results[edit]


Year Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
France Bertrand Gachot Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
France Bertrand Gachot Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret 8
Italy Giovanni Lavaggi Ret Ret Ret Ret
Switzerland Jean-Denis Délétraz Ret 15
Italy Andrea Montermini 9 Ret Ret DNS DSQ Ret NC Ret 8 12 Ret DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret


  1. ^ "January & February 1993 Information". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  2. ^ "F1 News > Pacific forms alliance with Lotus". 28 February 1995. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Constructors: Pacific Grand Prix". Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  4. ^ a b c "Jyrki Järvilehto career statistics". Driver Database. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  5. ^ "Evan Demoulas career statistics". Driver Database. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  6. ^ Pitkänen, Seppo. "F3 British Championships 1988 (GB)". Driver Database. Archived from the original on 17 February 2001. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  7. ^ "1988 Macau Grand Prix" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  8. ^ "GP2 & F3000". Speedsport Magazine. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  9. ^ "Formula 3000 results, 1989-1997". Racing Database. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008.

External links[edit]