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OCTOBER 20, 1997

Pacific closes down

AS we suggested recently Pacific Racing has closed down. The team formally announced that last week it is shutting up shop after 13 years. The team, which was established by Keith Wiggins in 1984 enjoyed remarkable success, winning a championship at every level of single-seater racing in which it competed. The team helped many of today's leading drivers in F1, CART and sportscars including JJ Lehto, David Coulthard, Eddie Irvine, Bertrand Gachot and Christian Fittipaldi.

The team ran into problems when a sister company - Pacific Grand Prix - entered Formula 1 in 1994. It survived two seasons without any success. Wiggins then withdrew from Grand Prix racing and tried to rebuild Pacific, aiming at creating a broader engineering base on which to build a successful F1 project in the future. This failed to get off the ground.

We understand that several members of the Pacific staff, including designer Peter Weston, have found work at nearby Lola and there have been suggestions that Wiggins's future may also be linked with the Huntingdon car company, which was recently taken over by Irish businessman Martin Birrane.