Friday, 29 December 2006 09:58
Pacific Racing was a Formula One team from Great Britain. The team took part in two full seasons, 1994 and 1995, entering 33 Grands Prix.
Origins and Success in Lower Formulae
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.
Unfortunately, a recession and resulting failure of investors to pay up postponed their 1993 entry and they were unable to enter F1 until 1994. The year was a disaster. Paul Belmondo and former Pacific driver Bertrand Gachot 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 did not finish a single race and from the French Grand Prix onwards, neither car qualified. They scored a total of zero points that season.
By 1995, having merged with the dying Team Lotus, things looked up. The obsolete Ilmor engines had been replaced by Ford ED V8s and a whole host of new sponsors were brought in.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. 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 two pay-drivers, Giovanni Lavaggi and, later, Jean-Denis Deletraz. Gachot later returned after the money of the two pay-drivers dried up, with Pacfic's best finishes that season being 8th in the German and Australian Grand Prix.
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, which he still runs today.
|Last Updated on Friday, 29 December 2006 09:59|