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IMSA 50th Anniversary

Old 09-02-2018, 07:21 PM
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IMSA video: 50th Anniversary Celebration, Episode 7 - Patrick Long


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By: RACER Staff August 27, 2018 6:00 AM IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers of all time.

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Old 09-02-2018, 07:52 PM
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Default IMSA unveils commemorative 50th Anniversary book

IMSA unveils commemorative 50th Anniversary book

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By: IMSA Wire Service | August 25, 2018 1:48 PM The stories of the drivers, cars, teams, manufacturers, events and executives that make up the storied history of the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) was unveiled Saturday in a hardcover commemorative book at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California.Photo gallery – “IMSA: Celebrating 50 Years” book unveilingIn partnership with Racer Studio, “IMSA: Celebrating 50 Years” is a significant element of the sanctioning body’s golden anniversary that takes place in 2019. The book follows the history and experiences of these cornerstones from the story of its formation between John and Peggy Bishop and Bill France, Sr., to the first race at Pocono in 1969, to its current standing as a highly regarded sanctioning body that will lead seven motorsport platforms in 2019 including its flagship – the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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RACER video: IMSA 50th Anniversary book launch

“To understand and appreciate where IMSA is today, you must know its history,” IMSA President Scott Atherton said. “This extraordinary book will be a must-have for any fan of sports car racing, as it captures the spirit of everyone that has been involved with IMSA. The stories and photography promise to keep a reader turning the pages as they will have the opportunity to experience the many storylines that have contributed to IMSA’s colorful past, its current success and bright future.“On behalf of everyone at IMSA, I would like to thank Paul Pfanner, George Tamayo, Molly Binks, [designer] Aaron Justus and the remainder of the Racer Studio staff and the book’s many writers and photographers for a job well done in helping us present our history within the covers of this keepsake,” Atherton added.Within its 216 pages lie the tales of the people who have made IMSA what it is today – the premier professional sports car racing organization in North America. Racer Studio assembled a talented and knowledgeable group of writers that have covered the sport for years and accessed numerous photo archives to bring to life amazing memories of the past while bridging the decades to the IMSA of today.The list of contributors to the book read like a who’s who of motorsports journalists that have traveled around the world to cover the sport. This group, which has over 150 years of either writing about, driving in or participating in sports car racing, includes David Phillips, Jonathan Ingram, George Levy, Gary Watkins, Jim Mullen, Matt Cleary and George Tamayo.Highlights of the book include the history of IMSA entitled “A Winding Road Has Many Apexes.” Two chapters cover “Cars, Teams and Manufacturers,” with the first one looking at from 1970-1999 and the second from 2000-2018. The “Events” chapter includes the iconic tracks the championship races such as the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Motul Petit Le Mans but then takes the reader back in time to races at tracks such as Riverside in California and Miami street courses, among others, to replay great contests from the past.As the book says, sports car racing has historically been about the cars. The drivers split driving duties in a quest to push, or nurse, the car as hard as needed to win. Yet, from the beginning, IMSA challenged this traditional view of sports car racing. The drivers are as much the stars as the cars.The task given to a panel was to select the best of the best by looking beyond records to create a list of drivers who are linked with the story of IMSA. Choosing these drivers was never going to be easy but, in the end, a list of 50 great drivers in IMSA history was compiled with 10 receiving unanimous nominations.The foreword is written by IMSA Chairman Jim France and the publication also includes a list of winners including drivers, teams and manufacturers, of every IMSA race through the middle of the 2018 season. The limited edition book is on sale now by visiting imsa.com/50 and will be available at race weekends during the final stops on the 2018 schedule as well as in 2019.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:09 AM
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The IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration - Episode Seven / Joao Barbosa

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Published on Sep 26, 2018
IMSA, North America’s premier sports car racing organization, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers of all time.
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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:13 AM
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The IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration - Episode Eight / Joao Barbosa Part 2

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Published on Oct 13, 2018


IMSA, North America’s premier sports car racing organization, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers of all time.




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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:17 AM
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The IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration - Episode Nine / Wayne Taylor

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Published on Oct 25, 2018
IMSA, North America’s premier sports car racing organization, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers of all time.
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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:51 PM
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The IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration - Episode 10 / Derek Bell

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Published on Nov 29, 2018
IMSA, North America’s premier sports car racing organization, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers of all time.
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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:55 PM
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IMSA video: 50th Anniversary Celebration, Episode 11 - Bobby Rahal

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By: IMSA 10 hours ago IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers, owners and series principals.
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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:07 AM
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Default Historical IMSA 1969-1989: The first race at Pocono

IMSA 1969-1989: The first race at Pocono

Bill France Sr. and John Bishop enjoy a laugh before the race at Pocono. Image by IMSA Collection/IMRRC
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By: Octane Press | January 15, 2019 8:37 AM As we build up to this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, RACER.com is pleased to bring you a series of excerpts from IMSA 1969-1989 by Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf. The soon-to-be-released inside history of IMSA’s first two decades is currently available for pre-order from Octane Press, and as a RACER.com reader, you can get $10 off by applying the discount code RACER19 at checkout. Click here for ordering information, and look for the next excerpt on Thursday.Just two weeks before the inaugural IMSA event at Pocono, John Bishop received an urgent call from Dave Montgomery, the track president, who told him that he was going to have to cancel the race due to pressure from the SCCA. The club was threatening tracks and workers with excommunication if they participated in any IMSA events, a tactic borrowed from the early days of the road racing wars in the late 1950s and early 1960s.Although it was barely off the ground, the club viewed IMSA as a potential rival. Ultimately, this approach didn’t work and was abandoned, but the short-term threat to IMSA was quite real. Track owner Joe Mattioli did agree to lease the track directly to IMSA but could not agree to more for fear of losing SCCA dates the following year.Deciding that IMSA’s credibility was on the line, Bishop swallowed hard, then borrowed $10,000 to lease the track and solidify the prize money. He scrambled and called on friends to help with timing, scoring, pit marshal duties, technical inspection, and safety roles. The race was back on. Inver House Scotch came on board at the last minute to help with prize money and promotion.
The program cover for the first IMSA race ever held. The Formula Ford event, which took place on October 19, 1969, was run on Pocono’s short 5/8-mile oval. Image by Paul Pfanner
On October 19, 1969, the twenty-four teams that showed up were immediately treated to some refreshing changes from the way things were done at the SCCA. There were apples and friendly faces at registration, and prize money was awarded to everyone that started. Ray Heppenstall helped Charlie Rainville with technical inspection as they introduced another innovation; teams didn’t have to line up. Instead, Ray and Charlie went around to where the competitors were parked in the infield and did their work on the spot. It was a revelation to competitors.“Charlie Rainville came over to us at our first race and did his tech inspection right there on the spot, we didn’t move the car an inch,” recalled Sam Posey about his first IMSA race. “As silly as it sounds, it was a really big deal.”Promotion for the event had appeared in Competition Press & Autoweek, but very little marketing had been done locally. Still, 350 curious spectators showed up. Everyone in the Bishop family pitched in. Peg ran registration and worked scoring. Marc, on leave from the navy, along with John’s brother, Peter, sold tickets. Marshal directed traffic in the parking lot and Mitch worked timing and scoring. Drivers’ wives were also pressed into service to score the race. It was an “all-hands-on- deck” exercise. Bill France Sr. made sure to lend his support by flying in, giving the event instant legitimacy.Some of the best Formula Ford drivers of the day showed up: Skip Barber, Bill Scott, Jim Jenkins, and Fred Opert, among others. Almost all of them had no experience on ovals and many guessed at the proper setup. One of the guys who guessed wrong was George Alderman, an experienced SCCA racer who backed his car hard into the outside retaining wall during qualifying, ending up in the hospital overnight with a concussion. The car was not so lucky, it took months to rebuild. Alderman came back to become an IMSA regular and won the 1971 and 1974 IMSA RS series titles.
A rare shot of the driver’s meeting for the inaugural IMSA race at Pocono. Bill France Sr. is on the far left, wearing the hat and long coat. Bill Scott talks with Carson Baird in the foreground. John Bishop is by the tow truck in the back. Image by IMSA Collection/IMRRC
The race itself was a 200-lap affair. The pace was frantic on the flat, 5/8-mile oval. Timing and scoring was being done from the grandstands; there was no covered area to work. The scorers, accustomed to longer road courses, were overwhelmed by cars completing laps in just twenty-six seconds. It was all done the old-fashioned way—by hand.At the end of the race, Jim Clarke was declared the winner and a modest Victory Lane ceremony was held. Post-race analysis, however, revealed that an error had been made and the second-place driver, Jim Jenkins, had actually won. But the ceremonies were over, the spectators were long gone, and teams were packing up to go home. Bishop decided to let the results stand. They were never corrected.“Don and Ruth Nixon were running timing and scoring for us that race,” Bishop recalled. “The rest of the scoring team was largely made up of drivers’ wives. When Carson Baird crashed on lap thirty-one, his wife Betsy stood up and screamed. Peg told her to sit down and keep scoring. Somehow, we missed the real winner. Jim Jenkins should have won the race but instead the win was given to Jim Clarke. I remember Don Nixon running down the grandstand shouting, ‘Don’t give out the checks!’ but by then it was too late.”After all the drama and hard work, IMSA had pulled off its first race. Yes, the crowd was small and there were issues, but the sanctioning body was off and running.
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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:38 AM
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IMSA 1969-1989: The AAGT concept comes of age

Image by Tony Mezzacca /Bob Brandle
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By: Octane Press January 17, 2019 10:50 AM As we build up to this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, RACER.com is pleased to bring you a series of excerpts from IMSA 1969-1989 by Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf. The soon-to-be-released inside history of IMSA’s first two decades is currently available for pre-order from Octane Press, and as a RACER.com reader, you can get $10 off by applying the discount code RACER19 at checkout. Click here for ordering information, and look for the next excerpt on Tuesday.The Camel GT Series was on a roll by 1976. Average race attendance topped twenty-five thousand people, guaranteed race purses exceeded $31,000, and the fields had now become more diversified with AAGT machinery fighting on equal terms with factory-produced Porsches and BMWs. The series was attracting global attention due to the participation of top-flight sports car talent from Europe, including Brian Redman, John Fitzpatrick, Hans Stuck, Ronnie Peterson, and others. IMSA was making money; by midyear, John and Peg were able to pay off all the original NASCAR loans needed to start the business.The AAGT concept gained speed with Porsche’s focus on the 934 and the Trans-Am for 1976. It put the top IMSA Porsche teams in a bind. Could they be competitive with the now-aging Carrera RSR against the BMW CSLs and new AAGT Monzas?Holbert decided the answer was no. Although he had lobbied for the inclusion of the Porsche 934 for 1976, he preferred the larger rear wing, wider rear tires, and lighter weight of the Monza compared to the RSR. Holbert purchased a DeKon Monza for the 1976 season and ran his first race with it at Road Atlanta in April after wisely sticking with the more reliable Porsche RSR for the longer Daytona and Sebring rounds. He finished second at the 24 hours of Daytona and won Sebring in March, co-driving with Michael Keyser, who then also switched to the Monza.By the Road Atlanta round in April, eight small-block Monzas showed up from three constructors, including examples fielded by Keyser, Agor, Trueman, Nehl, Tom Frank, and Jerry Jolly. There were many other AAGT cars as well: Coleman’s original AAGT Vega, five Greenwood-style Corvettes, Charlie Kemp’s wild Cobra II built by Bob Riley, and a host of Camaros led by the big orange No. 21 of Carl Shafer. Holbert and Keyser finished first and second in their DeKon Monzas, humiliating the rest of the field. The AAGT era had officially come of age.Holbert went on to win four more races in the Monza to take the 1976 Camel GT championship, his first in IMSA competition. Keyser won two races with his version as well, cementing the future of American-built, tube-frame racers as the equal of anything produced on assembly lines in Europe. The Porsche Carrera RSR contingent included the usual faces along with George Dyer, Roberto Quintanilla, Bob Hagestad, John Gunn, John Graves, Monte Shelton, and others.
Carl Shafer’s AAGT Camaro leads Jim Busby at Mid-Ohio. Busby was hired by Peter Gregg to drive the Brumos Carrera RSR in 1976 after Gregg switched to the BMW CSL for one season. Busby was a former drag racer who burst onto the IMSA scene that year, winning four races. Image by autosportsltd.com
The AAGT revolution continued unabated for several years. Holbert won a second championship in an upgraded Monza in 1977 against an onslaught of Porsche 934/5s and the debut season of the Porsche 935. Other manufacturers became involved in the AAGT class, including Bob Sharp with the Datsun 280ZX twin turbo V8. The bodywork, aero packages, and engines got so outrageous that IMSA dropped the AAGT moniker and changed the name of the class to GT eXperimental (GTX) in 1978. GTX became a combined class that included Group 5 Porsche 935s and all manner of AAGT machinery.For the 1976 season, Gregg switched to the BMW CSL, which continued to receive factory support but was vastly outnumbered by the mobs of Porsches and AAGT machines that entered every event. Despite this, Gregg won two races (the 24 Hours of Daytona and Talladega) and finished in the top ten enough times to challenge for the season championship, finishing second in the points.For most of the season, Gregg hedged his bets by paying Jim Busby to race a Carrera RSR in Brumos colors, carrying the number 61. Busby became a regular on the circuit and was the sensation of the year, dominating the 500-mile event at Mid-Ohio in August, driving solo the entire distance, and winning sprint races at Sears Point, Laguna Seca, and Ontario, where he barely edged his boss in the BMW by punting him off the track on the last lap. Later that year at Lime Rock, Gregg presented his bashed-in BMW door to Busby as an ironic trophy to hang on his wall. As part of his contract with Brumos, Busby was paid a $5,000 bonus for every race win, which usually came at the expense of his boss, Peter Gregg. The fact that Gregg had to sign each of these checks personally had to be especially galling for the IMSA champion.Dyer, in his Carrera RSR, won for the first time in his Camel GT career at the traditional Memorial Day Lime Rock round by one thousandth of a second when Michael Keyser had a costly miscommunication with his crew, which had radioed him that the race was over when, in fact, it had one lap to go. The close finishes continued at Mid-Ohio where DeKon Monza drivers Keyser and Holbert were separated at the finish by one-tenth of a second. Starting with Busby’s win at Ontario, three consecutive Camel GT races were decided by a total of less than two and a half seconds.
IMSA sanctioned a Formula Atlantic series for just one year in 1976. Gilles Villeneuve, with his classic oversteer style, won the title against the likes of Bobby Rahal, Price Cobb, and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Image by autosportsltd.com
The year also marked the first and only time IMSA sanctioned a Formula Atlantic series. The six-race schedule dovetailed with the similar Canadian series and featured Gilles Villeneuve, who won the title over Price Cobb, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, and Bobby Rahal, among others. All would go on to bigger things. Villeneuve famously drove for the Ferrari Formula One team. Cobb would co-drive to victory in the Le Mans 24-hour in addition to numerous Camel GTP prototype wins. EFR won a Trans-Am title and twice co- drove to overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Rahal went on to win three CART championships, the Indy 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the Sebring 12 Hours.Throughout the fall of 1976, strong lobbying by Porsche and its customers began to create a revised IMSA philosophy for the following year. AAGT Monzas were more than capable of keeping up with existing Porsches and BMWs. The growth of FIA Group 5 in Europe with Porsche 935s, BMWs, and the Ford Capri was paving the way for a future of silhouette GT cars. The result was a complete rethinking of the Camel GT rule book that allowed turbos, larger tires and rear wings, front splitters, and more liberal bodywork regulations.
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May 13, JUN 8, Jul 13, 2019: All Cars Every 2nd Saturday Free Breakfast click: https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/e...ast-tampa.html

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Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:03 AM
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The IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration - Episode 12 / Hurley Haywood

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Published on Jan 17, 2019
IMSA, North America’s premier sports car racing organization, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. Relive some of the best moments in IMSA’s history, told by some of the greatest drivers of all time.
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May 13, JUN 8, Jul 13, 2019: All Cars Every 2nd Saturday Free Breakfast click: https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/e...ast-tampa.html

AND Every Saturday: Dunedin Gearheads car meet click: https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/e...ml#post9408927

Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/b...ontact-us.html

Have a great day! [email protected] and 813-839-4281 (24 hrs)
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