Motor Racing: Pacific to join the elite

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THE striking silver, blue and pink machine unveiled at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre yesterday confirmed the arrival of a new team in Formula One, writes Derick Allsop. Pacific Grand Prix, left on the grid last year, are ready to race this coming season.

Keith Wiggins, the managing director of the Norfolk- based organisation, is confident that he will have a budget of pounds 8m to complete a spectacular 10-year rise through the motor racing classes. During that period Pacific have won every championship they have contested, 10 in all.

The target this year is to make the score sheet in Formula One. 'Our aim is to finish in the top six,' Wiggins said. He believes that his comparatively modest funds and a team of only 30 will be sufficient to establish Pacific at this level. The car has been built together with Reynard, with engines from Ilmor. 'I'm sure we can run a Formula One team with 30 people,' he added.

The two drivers will each contribute pounds 1.25m to the budget. Bertrand Gachot, the Belgian driver, has already been lined up, while Wiggins plans to announce his second driver next month.

The French Formula One team, Larrousse, has named Olivier Beretta, of France, as one of its two drivers for this season. Beretta, 24, finished sixth in last season's Formula 3000 championship. His compatriot, Erik Comas, continues as the team's No 1 driver.