This year marks the 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association. Founded in 1969 by a former SCCA director, John Bishop, funded by NASCAR entrepreneur Bill France, Mr. IMSA's first authorized race was for Formula Vee and Formula Ford with open wheels at Pocono Raceway. From that unpropitious start, the sanctioning body grew to encompbad some of the most influential American motor sports events since then.
Between the IMSA GT championship, which generated the support of major manufacturers and the mega-speeds in the 90s, to the American Le Mans Series that did the same in the 2000s, Bishop's approval has been fundamental to the growth of American sports car racing.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of IMSA, many teams will enter the 24-hour race at Daytona next weekend with liveries of retreat to important cars from IMSA's own past. Some teams have implemented these liveries better than others, but here are all of them that have been announced so far.
Ford Chip Ganbadi Racing –
While Castrol is probably more closely badociated with the Jaguar GTP cars of the late 1980s in the history of IMSA, the famous green / white / red livery was run on a Mustang GTO in the 1990s. Motorcraft stripes adorned the Mustangs GTO entered by Roush at the end of the eighties.
For me, the appearance of Motorcraft works very well, but the Castrol is a little bland.
Starworks Motorsport –
The Starworks squadron is running a throwback to the Audi IMSA GTO program with this predictable design of the Audi 90 Quattro GTO. It's great to see these colors again, but the R8 will never be as great as the GTO Turbo car.
CORE Autosport –
CORE has gone from a successful LMP2 program in 2018 to a Nissan DPi specific to IMSA by 2019. In an effort to return Nissan's legacy to the IMSA grid, they sport a livery similar to the Nissan R91CP car that won the Daytona 1992 24.
Riley Technologies Mercedes –
Riley Technologies' pro-am driver, Ben Keating, does frequent business with the Wynn automotive chemicals company. By flipping through the old liveries to create a flashback livery for the 2019 season, Keating saw the Porsche 962 from Hotchkis Racing sponsored by Wynn. The team reached a sponsorship agreement for the entire season, so I hope that this theme is fully maintained throughout the season. The gold wheels are a perfect complement. This is a kick done well.
Penske Acura Team –
The red / orange and white livery of Acura is absolutely linked to the history of modern motorsport. The colors are much more recognizable as those of the champions of the World Challenge RealTime Racing series, which is not a series authorized by IMSA. Although Acura and Comptech partnered for the 1991 season in IMSA GTP Lights with a 3-liter Spice chbadis with V6 engine. That's the livery that the team is looking for here, and it works well, if it's a bit simple. Sometimes simplicity works better.