Race, retrain, recover – that’s the mantra of Mission Motorsport, the charity which supports service leavers through motorsport and automotive endeavours. The pinnacle of its year is the Race of Remembrance – a 12-hour endurance race at Anglesey Circuit – and it’s an event Morgan is familiar with competing in. This time round, however, Morgan’s involvement ran deeper than ever before…
Driving the all-new Morgan Plus Four race car, and a Plus 4 Clubsport generously loaned by its owner John Richards, six beneficiaries of the charity took to the track. “Morgan’s support of Race of Remembrance this year is something incredibly special,” said James Cameron, CEO of Mission Motorsport. “For the beneficiaries driving and supporting the Morgan cars in the Race of Remembrance, this will bring tangible and long lasting results on their road to recovery.”
Making this possible for paraplegic veteran Steve Binns was the fitment of hand controls, marking the first time such a system has been fitted to a Morgan. For single-leg amputee Lionel O’Connor the car’s eight-speed automatic meant he was at no disadvantage – in fact, he kept pace with Morgan’s manual Plus Four, driven by accomplished factory drivers, which went on to finish 14th from the 53 cars that started the race.
Morgan’s involvement in Race of Remembrance furthers its work supporting Mission Motorsport, the company’s nominated charity partner. “We’ve worked closely with Morgan over the last few years, including with the recent placing of three service leavers into the company,” continued Cameron.
Based closely on the road-going model, the Plus Four race cars act as a development tool for the Morgan, lessons learnt from the harsh environment of racing directly feeding in to the company’s development programme. It was an auspicious start, the result validating the inherent reliability and pace of the car against its race-bred competitors.
“The all-new Plus Four represents a huge leap forward for Morgan. For it to finish its first-ever race so successfully is brilliant to witness, even more so when we consider how closely related this race car is to the road-going vehicle,” said Steve Morris, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Motor Company. “It’s fantastic to support the work of Mission Motorsport, too, and the amazing event that is Race of Remembrance, but also for Morgan as a company to pay its respects to those who’ve served in the armed forces.”
The cars were run by Mission Motorsport beneficiaries, the Morgan Motor Company, and students at the University of Wolverhampton (UoW), working in collaboration. It continues a five-year relationship between Morgan and UoW, with direct recruitment opportunities for graduates, and forms a crucial part of Morgan’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme, supporting education and training.
Shane Kelly, University of Wolverhampton, said: “The race marks the culmination of months of work for students on the Motorsport Engineering course, converting a production Morgan Plus Four into a race-ready vehicle. It’s testament to both the underlying capability of the car and the students’ hard work that we achieved such a positive result.”