Pacific Racing

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 much success.

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

Origins and success in lower formulaeEdit

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 OneEdit

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 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. 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 aftermathEdit

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 recordEdit

Results summaryEdit

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

* Including points scored for other teams.

Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit



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
  Eddie Irvine DNS Ret DSQ Ret 3 Ret 6 9 4 4
  JJ Lehto DSQ Ret 4 6 Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret
  Allan McNish 8
  Stéphane Proulx 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 7
  Marco Greco DNQ DNQ
  Claude Bourbonnais DNQ DNQ
1991 Reynard 91D Mugen V8 A VAL PAU JER MUG PER HOC BRH SPA BUG NOG 69 1st
  Antonio Tamburini 3 10 4 7 4 6 5 Ret 1 Ret
  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
  Laurent Aïello Ret Ret Ret 11 10 5 6 Ret 7 Ret
  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
  David Coulthard 13 2 2 1 Ret 7 3 Ret Ret
  Michael Bartels Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
  Phil Andrews DSQ 13
1996 Lola T96/50 Zytek V8 A NUR PAU PER HOC SIL SPA MAG EST MUG HOC 9 7th
  Patrick Lemarié 12 5 13 10 8 Ret 8 15 Ret 8
  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
  Oliver Tichy 8 8 2 9 Ret 7 5 Ret
  Marc Gené 13 DNQ

Complete Formula One resultsEdit


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


  1. ^ "January & February 1993 Information". 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). 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 linksEdit