As one of the tastemakers of the midwest, iLL Garage works to build and tune pioneering automotive projects. Their specialty is Nissan and Honda, with the primary shop car a 2000 Honda Civic SI (RS3) with sport FWD trim.
Along with promoting iLL Fest and participating in many events every year, they are always learning, moving forward, and trying new things to get that next little edge. Here’s some of what’s keeping iLL Garage busy this season.
How many events are left for 2018?
“If we’re lucky, we’ll get to about five more events (outside Import Wars/iLL Fest) for the rest of the season. If the weather holds we can keep going until November.”
What are some recent milestones?
“Last September, we broke a barrier with our car – we reached the 8 second barrier in quarter mile. It’s been done (by others) before, but to achieve it is a pretty big deal. We’re only the 2nd team to do it locally. We were neck and neck with other local teams trying to get there, and many people were getting close. One other team broke 8 seconds before us. We were trying to get there at iLL Fest last year and only reached 9 seconds flat. Two weeks later, we went out just to see if we could do it at Test & Tune Day and did it. The track conditions were not ideal, but we got there because we wanted it.”
“This season, we’re focused more on being present in the process. If you always try to do things at a high level, you never enjoy it.”
2018 Events include:
NASA Honda Callenge Mid Ohio | Automass Drag Racing and Drift Demo @Great Lakes Dragaway | Import Wars @Great Lakes Dragaway | Chicago 1/2 Mile Shootout (1st time attendee) | NASA Honda Challenge Gingerman | Import Wars – Rotary vs. Small tire @Great Lakes Dragaway
August 19: Import Wars sponsored by iLL Garage @Great Lakes Dragaway
In its early days, iLL Fest was held in the parking lot at the iLL Garage shop. The last one at the shop was so big and caused so much traffic, they lost their permit for the event.
In 2011 they approached Import Wars, the longest-standing import-only sports compact event around, to put on iLL Fest. By 2015 it was moved to the track (Great Lakes Dragaway) due to its size.
iLL Fest currently attracts about 2500 people, with 120 car show entries and 150 drift entries. All vehicles are imports.
This year, iLL Fest will be rolled up into Import Wars, sponsored by iLL Garage, August 19th at Great Lakes Dragaway.
ENEOS RACING Series
As one of our independent racing partners, iLL Garage has been testing the new ENEOS RACING Series since its release. Long-time ENEOS fans, they have high praise about the RACING Series.
On Viscosity and Protection
“We’ve been testing ENEOS RACING STREET 0W-20 on all road race or ‘enduro’ cars and the PRO 10W-50 on drag and ‘extreme duty’ cars.
“People (racers or technicians) correlate oil thickness to oil protection, something we were nervous about, but found not to be the case after using RACING Series products.”
“The first time we tested STREET 0W-20 was on an enduro car that typically uses either a 10W-30 or the ENEOS 5W-30 with pretty good results. In order to test the oil, our team turned off the (cooling) fan for the engine to show it works. We didn’t need the fan because STREET 0W-20 kept the engine cool.”
RACING Series vs. Competitors
“With extreme duty, we’ve used a (leading) 10W-50 or 15W-50 race oil. We’ve found with the ENEOS RACING PRO 10W-50 the oil temps are better: 15° (F) cooler at the end of a pass, roughly; the pressure is comparable to a 15W-20W oil at high and low revs.
“After 5 sessions, the RACING Series oil looks a lot cleaner and burns less oil than other products, even compared to standard ENEOS oil, which is already some of the best we’ve used.
“In five sessions, we usually burn a half quart of oil, but with the RACING Series, we don’t burn one drop.”
“After seven sessions, we expect to see 1.5 quarts lost, but RACING Series oil only burns about 1/4 quart.”
“Hands down, we’re not BS’ing when we say the RACING Series oil works.
“We’re putting it in and we’re using it because it works.”
“Some people say they’re using an endorsement product when they really don’t. For sure we’re using this oil.”
On the Horizon
What are you most looking forward to right now, in your business?
“We have a lot of long-term projects that have been going on for some time and are reaching their conclusion. A handful of customers were looking to get upgrades done, they often want to keep adding things, but we could be forever tweaking unless we set a conclusion. We’re excited to get them out of the dyno lab and into the environment for some blacktop proofing of their concepts.”
What do you see is the future of local racing?
“Most grassroots racing doesn’t attract the crowd it did in the past, at least in our area, even though there still seems to be a lot of interest in it. I wish more people would get out and racing. There are lots of import face-off events, such as stereo/sound contests, two-step competitions, etc., but not as many spectators at local shows that used to be big. They are more likely to show up for a regional or national event, or a car meet on a random day if the weather is good. Maybe it’s cyclical? Or maybe today’s attendees need more variety. Events where they are participating and hanging out more and less spectating from the stands, like Gridlife, which has DJs and a nightlife component, have been very successful. It could be the future of local racing is a party.”
iLL Garage has previously been featured in ENEOS People, a series about ENEOS partners, customers, and employees. They also participate in ENEOS garage, a program for shops who sell or provide ENEOS products.