The University of Wolverhampton has signed a new five-year partnership agreement with the Morgan Motor Company, bringing with it a racing programme set to further improve the student experience.

As Morgan’s factory works team, University of Wolverhampton Racing (UWR) will be converting two Morgan Plus Four models from road-going cars into fully prepared racing vehicles. UWR is made up of students undertaking Engineering degrees at the University’s Telford Innovation Campus, who are overseen by motorsport professionals. Together they will support the running of the cars in a number of national motorsport events, including the Morgan Challenge Series in 2021.

The University and UWR students have worked in partnership with Morgan for the past five years, with the collaboration providing practical experience of working with a car manufacturer, educational programmes, research and development, as well as providing trackside experience for the students by preparing, maintaining and developing competitive race cars.

Morgan unveiled its all-new Plus Four only one year ago, replacing the Plus 4 – the car UWR had previously campaigned – which was launched in 1950. Beneath the Plus Four’s traditional aesthetic is a revolutionary new design featuring Morgan’s CX-Generation bonded aluminium platform and a 2.0-litre turbocharged BMW engine. With technology such as a double-wishbone suspension all-round, and both manual and the latest generation of automatic gearbox available, it provides the perfect base for a motorsport development programme.

Syed Hasan, Head of the School of Engineering at the University, said: “UWR has facilitated a professional standard motorsport experience for the Morgan factory racing drivers over the past five years, including the introduction of the Club Sport, which lead to two seasons of class wins and one overall Challenge Championship victory.
“Together, Morgan and UWR will now seize the opportunity presented by the Plus Four to develop and prepare a motorsport version of the vehicle capable of winning races across multiple competitions.
“As the factory works team, students have been tasked with converting two Plus Fours for racing, one manual and one automatic. Alongside University staff, students will work closely with Morgan to share best practice, and gain world-class motorsport learning that will equip them with valuable employability skills and aid their future careers.”

Morgan Motor Company Chairman and CEO, Steve Morris, said: “We’re delighted to have extended our partnership with the University of Wolverhampton.

“The all-new Morgan Plus Four represents the very best of the Morgan Motor Company. It features rare craftsmanship, the instantly recognisable Morgan silhouette, and now, industry-leading technology thanks to our CX-Generation aluminium platform and BMW powertrains.

“A fitting successor to one of the world’s longest established nameplates, this new model displays some of the most celebrated key features of our classic range and strikes the perfect balance between tradition and modernity.

“The Plus Four represents a four-year development programme, carried out by our world-class design and engineering team and will be a perfect fit for engineering students’ learning, complementing their studies whilst at the same time providing them with real-world work experience.”

The car modifications and testing will be overseen by Senior Motorsport Technician, Matt Fenton, and Professional Driver and Team Mentor, Shane Kelly.

Picture captions top and bottom: Shane Kelly, UWR Racing Driver, driving one of the new Plus Four cars. Centre, students racing in the Morgan Challenge Competition in 2019.

Anyone interested in studying in the School of Engineering should register for one of the University’s Virtual Open Days.