The inside story of how John Bishop built IMSA
Celebrating a 50th anniversary is always big fun. And when the lucky one, is one of the wolds greatest sports car racing series, that fun can only be better. And to put a cherry on the pie, the book “IMSA 1969 – 1989” tells the complete history of the first 20 years of IMSA racing. A history that is being told in a way only insiders can do. Mitch Bishop is the son of the IMSA co-founders John and Peggy Bishop. Mark Raffauf works for IMSA since 1974.
That combination makes the book unique. Stories are being told as they are remembered from the family side of the racing series, by Mitch Bishop. On the other hand, Mark Raffauf gives input for the same stories, as seen by the employee’s side.
The 216 pages counting book tells us the stories from the formation of IMSA in 1969 by 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. Actually the stories in the book go further in history than 1969. The first chapter tells soms personal stories about Bill France sr and Jobn and Pegy Bishop, and the start of John Bishop’s career at SCCA and his resignation from the board in 1969.
John Bishop’s resignation from the SCCA was an immediate trigger for the formation of IMSA, just shortly after he left the SCCA. It is in the GT years of the IMSA that Porsche comes in focus. First the Porsche 911s and Porsche 914s , later the Porsche RSR’s.
Pilots like Hurley Haywood, Peter Gregg, Brian Redman, Hans-Joachim Stuck to name just a few.. they all raced in IMSA races. Later the turbo powered Porsche 934/5 and Porsche 935s were entered in the races. The Porsche 962 has it’s own chapter in the book. The name of the chapter says it all “Porsche 962 – the ultimate customer car”
“IMSA 1969 – 1989” is illustrated with hundreds of pictures. Most of these pictures are probably unknown to the vast majority of the readers. The high-quality pictures are not only a plus just for the pictures, they contribute to the story.
In just a few words : an amazing book that fascinates from the beginning to the end. And if you like some nasty stories about IMSA, you’ll definitively like the chapter “Bad boys : drugs, money and racing.”