Morgan – Sebring Beckons
Neil Cunningham and Adam Sharpe were both on hand at Donington Park
yesterday to put the Morganworks Aero 8 N-GT through its paces.
in most of the early running and was clearly enjoying himself:
feels way better that at the (Le Mans) 1000kms, the team has made
massive improvements over the winter, the tyres (Yokahama) are superb,
the dampers are good and the gearing seems spot on. We have a diff.
issue which is costing us time, but when that’s sorted we’ll
be on or around Mosler pace at a circuit like this.”
The newly resurfaced
Donington Park meant that like for like lap time comparison is all
but impossible just yet, but the Morgan certainly managed to lap
in the high 1:12s in traffic early on in the morning session and
in the very low 1:12s later in the day (despite the diff problem).
The team is
keeping everything crossed that the much-needed entry to Le Mans
comes to fruition, but there is already a great deal of evidence
that Morgan is drawing benefit from a high profile racing programme.
A BBC TV crew
was at Donington Park for the afternoon session interviewing both
Charles Morgan and Adam Sharpe before Adam took the Aero 8 out (complete
with on-board cameras), to give the local news reporter a quick
sample of that V8 rasp!
Sharpe (in the
car, above) is taking time away from his Oxford Brookes University
studies to race at Sebring:
in my second year of a degree in Technology Management, but things
are going well on that front so testing and the Sebring trip won’t
be a problem.”
to move upwards within GT racing a works-backed programme is a great
baseline for the young Englishman, who makes no secret of his ambition
to be the “Youngest ever winner at Le Mans.”
Morgan had meanwhile arrived at the circuit in a very special Aero
the race-winning performances of the Aero 8 in the British GT Championship
last year, the factory has produced a limited edition (15 cars)
of the Aero 8 GTN.
This car boasts
the 4.6 litre V8 used in the ‘Cup’ car, wrapped up in
a very purposeful bodyshell featuring centrelock wheels and the
same blue and silver colour scheme as the works car.
sold over 300 road-going Aero 8s so far and the racing success has
clearly done us no harm at all on that front. The GTN is an example
of a car that simply would not have been built at all without our
racing successes,” said the Morgan boss.
future we’re hoping that the novelty value of a Morgan on
the grid of a GT race dominated by Porsches and Ferraris might be
replaced by a grid largely composed of competitive and reliable
Its been a rollercoaster
12 months for Morgan with the failure to secure an entry for the
2003 Le Mans 24 Hours being followed by the death of Charles’s
father Peter Morgan.
The racing successes
of the Aero 8 though have clearly put smiles back on the faces of
the staff at Malvern Link. What will 2004 bring?