During the first years of the 1990 decade, many outfits tried to jump to F-1 after tasting success in lower categories. Not only were the Cosworth engines still available, options like Judd and Ilmor appeared, which made the dream closer. That was the thought of already experienced Briton manager Keith Wiggins – confident from his nice performances in F-3000.
He decided to give it a go in the 1994 season, one that will be always be sadly remembered. And with Frank Coppuck, the son of McLaren legend designer Gordon Coppuck, he had a good base to start with. The original plan was to use a project started by Adrian Reynard, but that was sold to Ligier and only some former Reynard technicians joined and tried to make their own creature, which used many F-3000 components and solutions. They opted for a cautious approach, with a bulky machine, the PR01, moved by an Ilmor V10 that could guarantee at least decent speeds.
The problem was that, by not having a hefty budget, they needed to rely on a noncompetitive duo. One being Bertrand Gachot who started well on the circuit, but became more remembered as the one that opened the chance for Michael Schumacher to debut, after fighting a taxi driver in London. And the second being Paul Belmondo, although a decent driver, he was not up to the challenge. But they were ready to race – or at least try to.
At their first season, Pacific reached a milestone that must not have left the team proud: on the only seven starts of the duo, the car never saw the chequered flag. So, they had only DNQs and DNFs at the chart. For a structure that had, among its drivers, Eddie Irvine, Allan McNish, David Coulthard, Christian Fittipaldi, Cristiano da Matta and the Gené brothers, it was a pity. And not one of them could draft, as money was still scarce.
On year two, with a chassis, the PR02, was somehow improved and received a Ford V8 engine. Andrea Montermini was a nice choice as he had talent and sponsors, but the other car was shared by a totally noncompetitive Jean-Deniz Deletraz and Giovanni Lavaggi, after another brief Gachot spell. At least it was possible to end races and, with good results. Two eighth spots and a ninth place finish would even mean points now, but back then it was only just so close, and insufficient to keep the team racing, so it folded after the season. And Wiggins went stateside, having some more success running Indy car programs.