IMSA GTP Class

In the early 1980's the North American prototype scene was in the second (and arcane) generation of Can-Am. The cars were essentally full-bodied indycars, and not sports car based at all. There was no manufacturer involvement, and the series was in decline. IMSA had been running a production based GTX class, which was ruled by turbo Porsches.

While Europe's 'Group C' regulations were being written, IMSA was also in need on updating the regulations of its GTX class. While the concept of limiting fuel and racing by consumption may have worked in Europe, where high prices and efficient cars were and are part of everyday life, such an intrusion would not be acceptable by gas-guzzling Americans. The IMSA GTP formula allowed virtually any engines and homologated cars by power-to-weight ratio. It was NOT the same as the GTP class that had been run by Rondeau at Le Mans. The IMSA organization was very astute at attracting manufacturers and teams, and the series grew steadily throughout the 80's.

This new specification began in 1982. The Lola T-600 and the March 82G were the first pure prototypes to run in this class.

I spent most of this era watching cars at Watkins Glen and Pocono raceway.

IMSA 1982

International Motor Sports Association 1982

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
2Porsche Kremer K3
'Coca-Cola'
Bob Akin
Craig Siebert
Derek Bell
5
GTP
TrueScale
TSM09433
23Ferrari 512 BB/LM 'Budweiser'
Bob Wollek
Edgar Dören
Randy Lanier
6
GTP
Brumm
213B

IMSA 1984

International Motor Sports Association 1984

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

1March 83G
Randy Lanier
Bill Whittington
(Series Champion)
57
GTP
Spark
S2991
3March 83G
'Red Lobster'
Kenper Miller
Mauricio DeNarvaez
25
GTP
Spark
S2992
Daytona 24 Hours
66Porsche 962 IMSA
Mario Andretti
Michael Andretti
(Only factory Porsche 962 raced in IMSA)
1
GTP
Minichamps
400 846501

IMSA 1985

Porsche 962

Porsche developed an IMSA version of the 956 dubbed the 962. While the cars were visually similar, there were signifigant differences in driver position and aerodynamics. This car was then developed for group C to make the 962C.

For an excellent refence on the history of the 962 (past and present) check out 962.com

While the 962 was a great car "out-of-the-box", many teams took to making big changes in bodywork for aerodynamic advantages. This escalated to the point where some race shops were producing "bolt hole identical" emulations of 962 chassis, but with structural improvements. This means that many of the later versions of 962-based cars would be difficult to model, as they would require their own individual die-cast moulds.

International Motor Sports Association 1985

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
1Porsche 962 'Valvoline'
A. J. Foyt
Bob Wollek
Al Unser
Thierry Boutsen
8
GTP
Spark
S0947
4Porsche 962 'Coca-Cola'
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Bob Akin
Paul Miller
Walter Brun
5
GTP
Vitesse
(Promo)
N/A
   TrueScale
TSM09432
5Porsche Fabcar 935/84 'Polo'
Jim Mullen
Kees Nierop
Al Unser
7
GTP
TrueScale
TSM104305
Sebring 12 Hours
1Porsche 962
'Valvoline'
A. J. Foyt
Bob Wollek
8
GTP
Minichamps
400 856508

IMSA 1986

International Motor Sports Association 1986

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
1Porsche 962
'Lowenbrau'
Al Holbert
Derek Bell
Al Unser, Jr.
14
GTP
Spark
S0948
Miami
1Porsche 962
'Bridgestone'
Bob Wollek
Paolo Barilla
86
GTP
Spark
(Cartima Bob Wollek Collection)
CA-WOL-13
Sebring 12 Hours
1Porsche 962
'Coke'
Bob Akin
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Jo Gartner
5
GTP
TrueScale
TSM09431
Mid-Ohio
1Porsche 962
'Lowenbrau'
Al Holbert
Derek Bell
14
GTP
Minichamps
400 866514

IMSA 1987

International Motor Sports Association 1987

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
1Porsche 962
'Lowenbrau'
Chip Robinson
Derek Bell
Al Unser, Jr.
Al Holbert
14
GTP
Spark
S0949
Vitesse
Super Models
SM32
Sebring 12 Hours
1Porsche 962
'Bud'
Jochen Mass
Bobby Rahal
86
GTP
Spark
43SE87

IMSA 1988

Jaguar Prototypes

Jaguar was a steady participant for the entire era, and funded two semi-works teams. In the US, the Group 44 cars were run by Bob Tullius. In Europe they were run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). Both teams occasionally crossed the Atlantic for the 24-hour enduros. These beautiful cars along with the Jaguar name helped create a classy, professional atmosphere. Walkinshaw went on to be involved with Bennetton F1 during the Schumacher years, and then acquired Footwork-Arrows F1.

The Vitesse group did some lame versions of the Le Mans cars, and then reissued them with drmatically better detail. All of these were TWR-run cars, so diecast versions of the Group 44 cars are on the top of many collectors' "wish lists".Jaguar page

Ironically, a leftover car from this team was reworked by Reinhold Joest into a back-to-back LeMans winning Joest-Porsche WSC95 .

International Motor Sports Association 1988

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

1Nissan GTP ZX-T
Geoff Brabham
83
GTP
Spark
S3583
Daytona 24 Hours
1Jaguar XJR-9
'Castrol'
Martin Brundle
John Nielsen
Raul Boesel
Jan Lammers
60
GTP
Spark
S0774
Onyx
Sports Racing
14

IMSA 1989

What is it, Momo?

The Momo 962 by Onyx is quite the mysterious item. It does not have an official reference number of the box, and is often referred to as a 'promo' or 'special'. It is also not from the Daytona 24 hours, as only two drivers (Moretti and Sigala) are listed. These two drove together at the Miami GP only, so that is where I am listing it. This car would go on to run at Le Mans with a center-post rear wing, which has been accurately modeled by Spark.

International Motor Sports Association 1989

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
1Porsche 962 'Miller'
John Andretti
Derek Bell
Bob Wollek
67
GTP
Spark
S0939
   Vitesse
326
DNFPorsche 962
'MOMO'
Massimo Sigala
Mauro Baldi
Gianpiero Moretti
Stanley Dickens
(Custom Bodywork)
30
GTP
Spark
S2987
3 Hours Miami
3Porsche 962 'MOMO'
Gianpiero Moretti
Massimo Sigala
30
GTP
Onyx
(20 'Special')
Sebring 12 Hours
1Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo
Chip Robinson
Geoff Brabham
Arie Luyendyk
83
GTP
Spark
43SE89

IMSA 1990

International Motor Sports Association 1990

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona
1Jaguar XJR-12
'Castrol'
Davy Jones
Jan Lammers
Andy Wallace
61
GTP
Spark
S0750
Mid-Ohio
25Ferrari F40 LM '0123'
Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Olivier Grouillard
40
GTO
IXO
model-car.com Special Edition
MDC005
Watkins Glen
2Ferrari F40
'Art Sports'
Hurley Haywood
Michel Ferté
40
GTO
Red Line
RL071

IMSA 1991

Tom Wakinshaw brought a Group C XJR-12 to Daytona

International Motor Sports Association 1991

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
1Porsche 962C
'Blaupunkt'
Frank Jelinski
Henri Pescarolo
Hurley Haywood
"John Winter"
7
GTP
Spark Model
S0950
30Jaguar XJR-12
'Bud Light'
Davy Jones
Scott Pruett
Derek Warwick
Raul Boesel
2
GTP
Onyx
Sports Racing
39b
40Gunnar Porsche 966
Jay Cochran
Derek Bell
Justin Bell
60
GTP
TrueScale
TSM114306
Miami
21Gunnar Porsche 966
'Jagermeister'
John Paul Jr.
Victor Gonzalez
66
GTP
TrueScale
TSM114305
Road Atlanta
13Gunnar Porsche 966
'Norwegian Cruise Lines'
John Paul Jr.
Victor Gonzalez
66
GTP
TrueScale
TSM124360
Full Season
Mazda RX-7
'Mazda'
Pete Halsmer
(GTO Chassis built by Fabcar)
62
GTO
TrueScale
TSM164362

IMSA 1992

Nissan wins Daytona, and most everything else for that matter. Ebbro put out a nice version of this classic GTP, but without the Toyota Eagle MkIII it seems lost...

International Motor Sports Association 1992

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Daytona 24 Hours
1Nissan R91CP 'Nissan'
Masahiro Hasemi
Kazuyoshi Hoshino
Toshio Suzuki
Anders Olofsson
23
GTP
Ebbro
43529
8Nissan R91CK
Mauro Martini
Volker Weidler
Jeff Krosnoff
27
LM
HPI
8871
34Nissan R91CK
Geoff Brabham
Chip Robinson
Arie Luyendyk
Bob Earl
83
GTP
HPI
8913
41Nissan R91CK
Derek Daly
Steve Millen
Gary Brabham
84
GTP
HPI
8914
Miami
DNFJaguar XJR-14
Davy Jones
2
GTP
Spark
S0776

IMSA 1993

International Motor Sports Association 1993

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Nissan NTP-90
Gianpiero Moretti
Derek Bell
30
GTP
Spark
S3384