|nnovation, power and reliability at the edge of the performance envelope are the qualities that have characterized Ilmor Engineering since its founding in 1983. Ilmor engines have established an unparalleled record over the past two decades, and that’s why auto racing’s elite, including DaimlerChrysler, General Motors and Honda, has turned to Ilmor for the design, manufacture and maintenance of its racing engines.
Founded by Mario Illien and the late Paul Morgan, in partnership with Roger Penske, Ilmor Engineering’s first project was the all-conquering Chevrolet Indy V8 engine, which dominated IndyCar racing from 1986 through 1993. Setting new standards for light weight, high horsepower and reliability, the Chevy Indy V8 achieved unprecedented success in America’s most technically demanding racing series.
Ilmor’s most innovative IndyCar engine was the Mercedes-Benz 500i, developed in a top-secret 50-week program specifically for the 1994 Indy 500. The most powerful engine ever to race at Indy, the 500i totally dominated the month of May, with Penske driver Al Unser, Jr. taking the pole and winning the race in a breeze. Ilmor’s Mercedes IC108 took the CART manufacturers’ championship in 1997, while Helio Castroneves won the 2001 and 2002 Indy 500s with Ilmor-developed GM-power.
At the pinnacle of international auto racing, Ilmor-designed and manufactured Mercedes engines powered McLaren-Mercedes driver Mika Hakkinen to the 1998 and 1999 World Drivers’ titles, while McLaren-Mercedes’ David Coulthard won the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in 2002, and Coulthard and teammate Kimi Raikkonen dominated the early part of the 2003 F1 season.