Our Team


Mario Illien

Mario Illien

Technical Director

Mario Illien was born in Switzerland. He trained as a technical draughtsman and went to work for Bonnier in 1971, helping to run an old McLaren. He was then hired by former racer Fred Stalder to modify a Chrysler-Simca four-cylinder engine for use in a Le Mans sports-prototype run by Stalder's Racing Organisation Course operation. This was used in Formula 2 in the mid-1970s at which time Illien had enrolled to study mechanical engineering at the famous Biel University Engineering School. He graduated in 1977 and joined the Mowag Company, designing diesel engines for tanks and armoured vehicles.

Mario had a passion for Motorsport and at 30 he went to work in the engine design department at Cosworth Engineering at Northampton in England. He spent the next five years designing and developing the company's engines, notably the DFY Formula 1 engine.
At the end of 1983 Illien and fellow Cosworth employee Paul Morgan founded Ilmor engineering along with Roger Penske. Mario took the position of Technical Director, leading the design of a succession of successful Indycar and F1 engines amongst other projects.


Steve Miller

Steve Miller

Managing Director

Steve started full time work in 1977 at a turbocharger manufacturer after graduating in Mech. Eng. from Loughborough University.

He joined Cosworth in 1985 to work on an F1 turbo engine, then picked up the Indy programme in 1987 and developed the existing engine, followed by the launch of two new engines which achieved many race wins and championships.

Moved to Ilmor in 1998 and built up a separate business unit from the larger F1 project, which was then bought out from Mercedes with the Ilmor name in 2005.

Since then, Ilmor has achieved many championships and race wins in every series they have been involved in, as well as diversifying into a number of other engine related markets for the skills.


Steve O’Connor

Steve O’Connor

Chief Engineer

Steve joined Ilmor in 1995 working on various aspects of the Mercedes Indycar and Formula 1 projects.

Designed the Honda Indycar engine and then led the engineering team on this engine which raced from 2003 winning 8 Indianapolis 500 races and 8 championships in 9 seasons.

Now Chief Engineer of the Racing side of Ilmor, Steve enjoys managing a very bright and talented group of design and development engineers, working on various projects including the current Chevrolet Indycar program which won 11 out of 15 races in 2012.

Joint winner of Louis Switcher award for Engineering Innovation and excellence in 2004 and 2012.


Rupert Russell

Rupert Russell

Operations Manager

Rupert received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from City University in London while apprenticed to Westinghouse Brake and Signal Ltd.

He spent 6 years with Ford Motor Co homologating imported US and Australian vehicles after a short spell at Cosworth as a production engineer  in 1977.

Returned to Cosworth Engineering in 1985 to look after the Sierra and Scorpio programmes and moved to Ilmor in 2000 to manage the special project department that eventually became the current Ilmor.

As operations manager I am responsible for the facilities and infrastructure, which include manufacture, purchase, quality, planning and IT.


Ian Whiteside

Ian Whiteside

Chief Engineer of Advanced Projects

Ian joined Ilmor in 2002 having previously spent 13 years in the Automotive Consultancy industry working on Engine Development and EMS Calibration for a variety of production programs.

At Ilmor he has worked on a number of Racing and non-Racing projects before becoming Chief Engineer of the Advanced Projects group in 2011.


Graeme Hughes

Graeme Hughes

Chief Financial Officer

Graeme is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts and he joined Ilmor in September of 2005. Prior to that he spent some time in local government finance, before which he enjoyed a total of 13 years at Cosworth Engineering starting as the Financial Controller in their road engine plant and rising to the position of Finance Director - Cosworth Racing.

Since joining Ilmor, Graeme has particularly enjoyed working with a group of motivated and competitive colleagues who, through their, efforts have grown the company from a promising “start-up” to a strong and profitable company in a few short years.

There is a strong Ilmor culture of winning and delivery which he says makes it a challenging and interesting place to be.

Graeme enjoys walking and any kind of live music. He has two sons who have inherited his love for competitive motorsport and football in equal proportions.