The Aero 8 GT
Morgan returned to LeMans once again in 2002, the 40th anniversary of Chris Lawrence and Richard Sheppard-Baron’s victory, with a racing version of the new car called the Aero 8 GT. Driven by Richard Stanton, Steve Hyde and Richard Hay, the car suffered recurring vibration from the back axle which was replaced during the race, however, it was engine failure that eventually forced retirement after 17 hours. Despite failing to finish, it was a most creditable achievement for a new car with only a few months development and on such a small budget. Morgan’s entry for the following year’s race was inexplicably rejected by race organisers the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, however they were back in 2004. This time the drivers were Adam Sharpe, Neil Cunningham, and Steve Hyde. Although the race was eventful, to say the least, with a delay of over three hours with a fuel pump problem, two radiator changes, a broken throttle cable and serious engine trouble, the car completed the 24 hours. Not only was this a remarkable achievement in the world’s most gruelling race, but in recognition of the Morgan pit crew’s outstanding performance, the authorities awarded them the team prize for the best technical crew in the race.