by John Starkey ISBN 9703259 1 6 Published by Menoshire, £69.99
What a contrast to the story above. These two eras of American racing virtually overlapped, yet while the dirt-trackers clung to pre-war technology, IMSA eventually pitted the best European machines like Porsche’s 962 against home-grown heavy metal. Starkey’s year-by-year overview plus results approach is thorough rather than gripping, but with the help of IMSA’s ‘godfather’ John Bishop, and quotes from drivers and team members, we get an insider’s view of how a breakaway outfit came to run some brilliantly close racing and encourage technical creativity, from the early streetcar classes to the final big-dollar prototypes of Nissan and Toyota.
IMSA even inspired Jaguar’s comeback, thanks to Bob Tullius and his Group 44 GTP cars. An appendix describing all the cars is a plus, but the interminable pages of results get in the way of the story, which occupies only a fraction of this 1100-page tome.