CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 5, 2001) -- One of the most recognizable names in the history of American and International auto racing will live again in 2002 and beyond as Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., (SPORTS CAR) returns to its original...
CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 5, 2001) -- One of the most recognizable names in the history of American and International auto racing will live again in 2002 and beyond as Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., (SPORTS CAR) returns to its original name, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The Clearwater, Fla., organization is the sanctioning body for the highly-acclaimed American Le Mans Series, as well as other road racing series.
The regeneration of the IMSA name is part of a new direction and expansion for the organization. "The IMSA name is immediately recognizable both in the United States and abroad," said Dennis Huth, who became president of Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., in June. "Through the hard work of the founders of IMSA, road racing enjoyed a great deal of success in the 1970s and 1980s, and the path to the top level of professional endurance racing in the United States became clearly linked to the IMSA brand.
"As our sanctioning body continues its growth, and road racing in America continues its upward trend, it is time for the IMSA name to return to the top level of the sport," he said.
IMSA, founded in 1969 to officiate and organize professional road racing competitions, became Professional Sports Car Racing, Inc., in 1997 during an ownership change. The IMSA Camel GT Series is one of the most well-known series in American racing history. The IMSA GTP and European Group C sports prototypes were the forerunners of today's "Le Mans" prototype category, the premier class of the American Le Mans Series where manufacturers and privateers do battle for top honors.
Huth said that the cars running in the Oct. 6 Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta for the American Le Mans Series will be outfitted with new decals carrying a revised IMSA logo with red, white and blue colors, rather than the previous red, white and black.
The newly-renamed International Motor Sports Association (a member of the ACCUS-FIA, the national sporting authority for motorsports in the United States) will continue to work in close consultation with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to organize and conduct "Le Mans Series" races in both North America and internationally.
In addition to the American Le Mans Series, the organization also sanctions events for the Panoz Racing Series, the Star Mazda Series and the Neon Celebrity Team Challenge. Beginning in 2002, it will sanction events for the Super Truck Racing Association of North America.