#173 IMSA 1969-1989: How John Bishop Built Worlds Greatest Sports Car Racing Series

IMSA Was Born

Fifty years ago, a new sanctioning body emerged at a pivotal moment in motorsports history. Racing was on the upswing and new tracks were being built all across the U.S. Imported cars from Europe and Japan were flooding the market, designers were pushing limits and drivers were looking for an opportunity to race for more than just a trophy. Into this void stepped John Bishop with a fledgling organization called IMSA that offered competitive, professional racing in a friendly atmosphere and carried a new message: Racing with a Difference.

The Inside Story Now Told

In this behind the scenes book, Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf tell the inside story of how IMSA became a global powerhouse in just a few short years. It covers John Bishops early life, his years at the SCCA and tells the story of how IMSA grew from humble beginnings in 1969 into the Camel GT Series, a circuit that became the most popular form of professional sports car racing in the world. Interviews with many of the top drivers, team owners, car builders and others from the era helped shape this book, which also includes hundreds of never-before-published photos. The first twenty years of IMSAs history deliver fascinating stories of vision, innovation, common sense leadership and overcoming personal tragedy. Bishop and IMSA left an enormous imprint on the racing world and changed thousands of lives. This book is a must-read, for those interested in how it all happened and in learning critical management lessons still applicable in todays motor racing world. This beautiful hardcover book can be found at bookstores and Amazon https://bit.ly/IMSABook

Mitch Bishop 

Mitch Bishop is the son of IMSA founder John Bishop. Over the last 40+ years, Mitch has built a successful career as a marketing, sales and software engineering leader in the Silicon Valley. He is an active racer and sits on the leadership council for the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, NY.

Mark Raffauf 

Mark Raffauf has spent most of his adult life as part of the IMSA family. Dating back to his teens in the 1970’s where he became an integral part of the organization during its GT glory days, he went on to become the key person behind IMSA’s GTP era before shifting his attention to Grand-Am, and today, the relationship continues with his leadership role in the new IMSA championship

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