PEOPLE: PAUL MORGAN
Name: Paul Morgan
Nationality: Great Britain
Morgan grew up surrounded by automotive engineering. His father was managing director of an automotive component company and in his spare time he was a keen restorer of vintage cars. Morgan learned the basics of engineering helping his father. In his teens he rebuilt a 1904 De Dion-Bouton, a Lagonda Rapier (which he later raced) and a Talbot-Lago.
At 19 Morgan won a place at the new Aston University in Birmingham to study mechanical engineering, from where he graduated in 1970. He immediately joined Cosworth Engineering at Northampton and began to work with racing engines. He was responsible for coordinating the Cosworth DFX engine program, using the famous DFV F1 engine as a base for a turbocharged Indycar engine. This dominated Indycar racing in the late 1970s and early 1980s, scoring 81 consecutive victories at one point.
In 1979 Mario Illien joined Cosworth and began working on the DFX development program. He and Morgan became increasingly frustrated at Cosworth and decided that they would like to design and build their own racing engines. Illien would design and Morgan would be in charge of production.
Their first project was to design and build their own Indycar engine. They submitted the idea to racing entrepreneur Roger Penske and he agreed to fund the establishment of the company in exchange for half of it. He then sold 25% to Chevrolet. Ilmor Engineering was thus established at Brixworth and the first engine emerged in August 1985. The Chevrolet V8 took two pole positions in 1986 and then began an impressive winning streak, collecting 86 victories between 1987 and 1993, including six Indianapolis 500s.
In 1989 Illien began building a 3.5-liter V10 engine for F1 which was used in 1991 by Leyton House Racing. In 1992 the company was commissioned by Mercedes-Benz to design an engine for the Sauber F1 team and at the end of the 1993 Mercedes-Benz bought Chevrolet's share of the company and the Sauber V10 became the Mercedes-Benz V10 and in 1995 began a new relationship with McLaren.
In May 2001, Morgan was killed while flying a Hawker Seafury.