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REVIEW: IMSA: Celebrating 50 Years

Sportscar365’s John Dagys reviews IMSA’s 50th anniversary celebration book…

Photo: IMSA

Next weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans will not only crown champions in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship but also signal the end of the 49th season for the International Motor Sports Association, as the sanctioning body gears up for a milestone 50th anniversary in 2019.

As part of its year-long celebrations, IMSA’s recently released book “IMSA: Celebrating 50 Years” will undoubtedly serve as one of the centerpieces.

The 216-page premium hardcover book, produced by RACER Studio, chronicles the key moments of the sanctioning body’s illustrious history and highlights some of the heroes that have come from the sport.

From IMSA’s formation in 1969 between John and Peggy Bishop and Bill France Sr., and its first race at Pocono, to the rise of the GTP era in the 80’s and turbulent 90’s that led to the creation of Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series, the book provides a factual yet fascinating look back through the last five decades of the North American sports car racing scene.

While adequately summarizing the evolving ownership changes, the book highlights some of the key tracks that helped shape the sport through the years, while also remembering some of the bygone venues, such as Riverside and the various iterations of the Miami street circuit.

A synopsis of the more recent history of the ALMS and Grand-Am, and how the two sanctioning bodies became a single entity in 2012, is also included, along with the 50 greatest IMSA drivers, selected by an independent panel of writers. 

Additionally, a complete list of race-winning drivers, teams and engine manufacturers from IMSA’s recently combined record book is featured, taking into account results from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, ALMS, Rolex Sports Car Series, USRRC, PSCR and IMSA eras.

The beautifully crafted book, featuring hundreds of high-quality photos from leading photographers and motorsports archives, is a must-have for any sports car racing fan, especially heading into the holiday season.

However, with only 2,000 copies to be produced, those wishing to have this piece of history will have to act quickly. 

IMSA: Celebrating 50 Years
ISBN: 9780692091722
RACER Studio
$170 (hardcover)

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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