Morgan’s Aero 8 GT(N) heads for Le Mans

Exactly 40 years after Morgan’s last competitive entry at Le Mans, when Christopher Lawrence, now Chief Development Engineer at Morgan Motor Company, drove a Morgan Plus 4 through the chequered flag to win the 2.0-litre class, a Morgan is set to return to the world’s most prestigious race.

The recently launched Morgan Aero 8 GT(N) race car will compete at this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race and the British GT Series as a private team entry by Race Sports Salisbury (RSS). The team, headed by Richard Stanton and Denis Leach, has secured major sponsorship from DEWALT and Barclays. Morgan Motor Company will provide additional technical support.

Powered by a 4-litre, Mader-tuned BMW M62 engine, the aluminium-chassis Aero GT(N) will line up alongside Porsche 911s and Ferrari 360s in the LM-GT category.

“I am absolutely delighted Richard and his team have chosen to run a Morgan after looking carefully at the advanced technology the Aero 8 offers “ comments Charles Morgan, Managing Director.

“The RSS team is a young, committed and very enthusiastic one. If the car lives up to its impressive theoretical performance, they have a good chance of putting down some markers this year, and I believe the outlook for the future is very promising indeed.”

The 2002 GT racing development continues a process that began in 1962 with Chris Lawrence’s Le Mans Class win. His long association with Morgan continued through the following decades through his own business, Lawrence Tune. In 1996 he joined the Morgan Motor Company full time to lead the engineering team developing the car that was to evolve, via the race track, into the revolutionary Aero 8 road car.

Richard Stanton comments:

“I was immediately struck by the Aero 8 GTN, which is a superb piece of engineering. We think the combination of its advanced chassis and suspension technology with the fantastic BMW engine is a winning one. The chance to drive one of the world’s most famous marques and to work with Chris Lawrence and the technical team at Morgan was simply to good to miss.”

Richard’s recent record includes a successful outing in the 2001 British GT Series, driving a TVR along with his co-driver Steve Hyde. The season’s results included 7 podium appearances, 1 class win, 2 fastest laps, and 1 pole position.

Story and photo: Morgan Motor Company