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Who are Ilmor?

Who are Ilmor?

Who are Ilmor?

Confirmed for the last two races of the 2006 MotoGP season- and almost certain to feature on next year's grid- Ilmor are the latest addition to the World Championship Paddock. Followers of MotoGP will probably be familiar with experienced rider and former 500cc race-winner at Estoril Garry McCoy, but the team itself may be something of an unknown entity, so gives you a little background information on the 800cc outfit.

Ilmor Engineering was a project founded in 1983 by Cosworth Engineering employees Mario Illien and the late Paul Morgan. Working in collaboration with Roger Penske, they devoted their talents to the Chevrolet Indy V8 engine which dominated the IndyCar series from 1986 to 1993. Illien, Morgan, Penske and General Motors (owners of Chevrolet) took equal shares in what would become Ilmor Engineering. Morgan looked after the manufacturing and commercial interests of the company, whilst Illien focused on designing.

In 1994, Ilmor developed the most powerful engine ever to race in the Indy 500, the American car series' showcase event. With Penske driver Al Unser Jr onboard, they took pole and won the race.

The engineering company also experienced success in Formula 1, where they designed and manufactured Mika Hakkinen's 1998 and 1999 title-winning Mercedes engine.

Paul Morgan tragically died in 2001 whilst flying a Hawker Sea Fury aircraft, leaving Illien in sole charge of Ilmor Engineering. The company's agreement with Mercedes ended last July.

The move into MotoGP is the realization of a long-standing ambition for the company, who said yesterday in the Official MotoGP Podcast that the time was right due to the move to 800cc bikes for all teams.

MotoGP, 2006

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