CHAMPCAR/CART: Mercedes-BenzPaul Morgan PR

Thanks to Mercedes-Benz "Producing Winners" Mercedes-Benz Personality Profile Third in a Series: The Personalities Behind Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Mercedes-Benz's Modern-Day Pioneer: Paul Morgan and Winning Production MONTVALE,...

Thanks to Mercedes-Benz

"Producing Winners"

Mercedes-Benz Personality Profile

Third in a Series: The Personalities Behind Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

Mercedes-Benz's Modern-Day Pioneer: Paul Morgan and Winning Production

MONTVALE, N.J. (August 25, 1997) -- As managing director of Ilmor Engineering, the race engine-building arm of Mercedes-Benz, Paul Morgan (along with Ilmor co-founder Mario Illien) is a modern version of the adventurous, inventive, self-reliant, hands-on figures who shaped the early days of the automobile and the automotive industry. The only difference is that Morgan and Illien's horseless carriages, the seven Mercedes-powered Indy cars that will race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., in the Grand Prix of Monterey, Sept. 7, produce more than 800 horsepower and scream to more than 230 mph. Morgan and Illien also direct the design and production of the Mercedes-Benz engines for the West McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team. To see the gracious and studious Morgan, 49, on the factory floor at Ilmor's ultra-modern manufacturing facility in Brixworth, England, one can easily picture him as an early pioneer of 'automobility,' exploring the budding technology in his own workshop and then joyously pitting the machine that he created against all comers. Morgan is a modern-day mechanical wizard, who can fix or build just about anything. "I find anything with an intellectual, mechanical challenge an enjoyable pursuit," said Morgan, who has re-built, modified and raced everything from motorcycles to airplanes and boats to cars. "But, racing is particularly compelling because of the quick turnaround time. Difficulties arise which, at first glance, appear to be impossible to solve in the time available, and the team must rise to the challenge." It is Morgan's responsibility to contend with those quick turnarounds, the seemingly impossible time frames that arise for Ilmor as it supplies engines to the seven Mercedes-powered cars in the PPG CART World Series and the two cars of the Mercedes Formula One team. "Mario is responsible for the technical design, modifications and power improvements to the engines," explained Morgan, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from Aston University in Birmingham, England, and started his professional involvement in motor racing with Cosworth in 1970. "My job is production: making sure we have the right machinery and arranging the manufacturing schedules such that we can produce the correct quantities of parts at the correct times." Just as the creators of what is now Mercedes-Benz, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz, applied the latest tools and techniques of their day to the creation of automobiles, Morgan has brought cutting-edge technology to Ilmor. "We've put a lot of effort into making parts at night and on weekends," said Morgan. "Robotic machines can handle many different jobs consecutively. The machines feed the raw parts, select the correct cutting tools and computer programs, and when you arrive in the morning, if all has gone well, the parts are completed. That capacity is very important in racing, where you must be able to take engine parts from design to prototype and into production very quickly if you are going to stay competitive." The Mercedes-Benz engines have been more than just competitive in 1997, scoring seven wins and leading the manufacturer's points on the PPG CART World Series and powering a season-opening win with McLaren in Formula One. Mercedes-Benz is the only engine manufacturer to win races on both circuits this season, in addition to leading the Manufacturer's points in the FIA GT series with the new CLK-GTR, which is built and prepared by AMG in Affalterbach,Germany. Although Morgan still considers the Mercedes-Benz "pushrod" engine, which dominated at Indianapolis in 1994, his crowning achievement, he derives his greatest professional enjoyment from setting up new manufacturing facilities, a project currently underway at Ilmor's headquarters in Brixworth. "Starting from what was essentially an empty space, and creating a factory by deciding what machinery is necessary, finding the tools and the people needed and bringing it all together into a plant that can build successful engines is really satisfying," he said.

When he is not making race-winning powerplants, Morgan is likely to be found behind the wheel of his 1904 De Dion Bouton automobile which -- predictably -- he rebuilt himself at the age of 15, in the cockpit of one the vintage airplanes which he maintains and pilots, or spending time with wife Liz and children Patrick and Lucy. Much has changed in the production of automobiles and engines since Daimler and Benz started their shops more than a century ago, but for Paul Morgan, Ilmor Engineering and Mercedes-Benz, the spirit of innovation and the joy of competition remain unchanged. Mercedes-Benz is actively involved in the joy of competition worldwide, not only in motorsports, but also as a sponsor of the ATP Tour, two PGA TOUR golf events and a professional mountain bike team.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------ This Week in Mercedes-Benz Sporting History

Sept. 5, 1954 Juan Manuel Fangio wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza to further solidify his World Driving Championship behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz W196 grand prix racer. The W196 is equipped with a 2.5-liter engine that produces 280 horsepower at 8,700 rpm, powering Fangio to four Grand Prix wins during the 1954 season.

Sept. 10, 1995 Gil de Ferran wins the final race of the 1995 CART season with Mercedes-Benz power at Laguna Seca Raceway . The talented Brazilian wraps up the Rookie of the Year title with the victory, evidence of a continuing Mercedes-Benz tradition of supporting gifted young racers. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------- Ilmor Engineering: Not Just Engine Builders, They're Good Neighbors

Paul Morgan and Mario Illien design and build Mercedes-Benz's race-winning engines, but their ingenuity and creativity doesn't stop there. To efficiently heat their Ilmor Engineering factory in Brixworth, England, they created a system to recapture the normally wasted energy from engines being tested in the factory.

Water from a 19,000-gallon tank -- a 16-foot-square cube of corrugated steel surrounded by insulation and an aluminum jacket -- circulates to the engines being tested. Up to 45 kilowatts of energy are collected from the engine block, oil cooler and exhaust headers -- enough to keep the facility warm on the coldest of days.

This system also silences the noise of engine testing by cooling and slowing down the exhaust gases to the point where a person outside the factory cannot hear a sound from the 800-plus horsepower engines, even at full throttle -- an important added benefit, given that the small village of Brixworth is Morgan's hometown, and he knows all of Ilmor's neighbors.

# # # SM081897/43

Because e-mail can be altered electronically, the integrity of this communication cannot be guaranteed.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Juan Manuel Fangio , Paul Morgan