Forgotten F1 Friday: Pacific PR01

25 October 2019 - 15:09 By Motoring Reporter
Bertrand Gachot drives the #34 Pacific Grand Prix Pacific PR01 Ilmor 3.5 V10 during the Molson Canadian Grand Prix on 12th June 1994 at the Montreal Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal, Canada.
Bertrand Gachot drives the #34 Pacific Grand Prix Pacific PR01 Ilmor 3.5 V10 during the Molson Canadian Grand Prix on 12th June 1994 at the Montreal Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal, Canada.
Image: Anton Want/Getty Images

Cool name? Check. Attractive car with silver paintwork? Check. An impressive history of successes in lesser racing formulas such as Formula 3 and Formula F3000? Check, again.

On paper the fledgling Pacific Grand Prix outfit founded by Keith Wiggins seemed like it could possibly go places in Formula 1 when it arrived on the grid in 1994. Unfortunately this was not to be the case as the team's PR01 proved extremely uncompetitive.

It may have looked the part and even sported a shape similar to that of the front-running Benetton B194 but a poorly developed chassis (basically a stillborn Reynard chassis from 1992), zero wind-tunnel testing and woefully underpowered Ilmor 3.5-litre V10 engine all ensured that the PR01 only qualified for five of the season's 16 races.

To make matters worse, each one of those five races ended in retirement, which meant that Pacific Grand Prix failed to score even a single point in the whole of the 1994 Formula 1 campaign.

Despite merging with what remained of the now defunct Lotus outfit in 1995, Pacific's fortune failed to turn and at the end of the year the team left Formula 1 for good. 


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