Phil Harper Motorsports has announced that Ilmor Engineering, based in Plymouth, Michigan, has purchased Phil Harper Motorsports along with Scorpion Racing Engines. This sale will help Phil Harper, Owner of Phil Harper Motorsports and Scorpion Racing Engines, do more for his current and future customers.
“I want to let my customers know that Ilmor is not going to raise prices or change my involvement in any way,” Harper said. “I will still be responsible for every engine that is built. I will still build every engine, I will still be going to as many races as I have been, and they have assured me that any engine with a PHM or Scorpion decal on the valve cover will have 100% backing by Ilmor. They have also signed me to a three year contract, so I am not going anywhere.”
Harper has been looking for a partnership like this for a long time, and he finds some great benefits for this acquisition.
“They are committed to providing me with any and all of the resources that I need to get engines rebuilt and returned to customer much faster than I have been able to in the past, which is a huge plus for my customers,” Harper explained. “I can now pursue even more business because I know I’ll have the resources behind me to support it.”
Paul Ray, President of Ilmor Engineering, Inc., agrees that the acquisition is right for his company.
“We have done some business together over the years as Phil Harper Motorsports is about five miles from us. Several of our employees have worked with Phil,” Ray explained. “Phil has an outstanding reputation and has a small but high quality facility.
“Phil approached us merging his companies with ours and it was an idea that doesn’t come along very often. We have wanted to get into short track racing and offshore boat racing. With what Phil has to offer, along with his strong customer base on both sides, it was an easy decision.
“We tried to enter the short track market a few years ago by building midget engines then go into sprint cars. We always felt that short track racing was a place for us to be involved, but it is a tough market to break into, especially when you have a great group of established engine builders. When the economy took a hit, it was not the right time for us to get into that market. Phil is giving us the opportunity to re-enter with an established and successful customer base.”
Harper agrees that this merger is right for both sides.
“They have been looking at getting into the offshore racing market along with all of the circle track and road race markets that PHM is already involved in. They want to diversify their involvement in other types of racing. It’s a perfect fit for them because of the major involvement that I already have in all of these markets.”
Phil Harper Motorsports clients are a who’s who in the Pro Late Model ranks. Some of those clients include: Harrison Burton, Cody Coughlin, Spencer Davis, Brandon Odom, Chase Elliott, Anderson Bowen and Bubba Pollard.
His engines have won the last four out of five Snowflake 100’s at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Ilmor Engineering, Inc. (www.ilmor.com) is widely recognized as one of the most successful high-performance engine design and manufacturing companies in the world. They have been building IndyCar racing engines since 1984 along with building engines in ARCA, NASCAR and Go-Karts.
Ilmor’s resume includes 18 Indianapolis 500 wins with 275 Indy Car victories overall.
One thing that Ray and his team at Ilmor Engineering hope to do more this year is celebrate victories, especially now with being more involved in short track and offshore racing.
“We have a great tradition at Ilmor where we celebrate every victory. It may be something small to breaking out the champagne,” Ray said. “The company founders started this tradition and it we continue it today. With the clients that Phil Harper is bringing to Ilmor, I think we will be doing a lot of celebrating this year.”
Harper plans to remain at his current facility in Livonia, Michigan until mid-summer. He then will be moving over to Ilmor's state of the art, engine build facility in Plymouth, Michigan.
“We will be able to do everything over there that we are now currently doing here,” Harper said. “Customers will still have ready access to me and the shop. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I have finally gotten to where I want to be.”
For more information on Phil Harper Motorsports, visit www.phmotorsports.com. For more on Ilmor Engineering, visit ilmor.com.