IMSA is a professional road racing organization which sanctions events throughout the US and Canada. IMSA series are considered "sports racing", focusing on closed fendered race cars. The events tend to endurance in nature, with 1 hour a typical minimum, and the longest event is the the Sebring 12 hours. For many years, IMSA sanctioned the Daytona 24 hours, but that event is now a GrandAm event.
Last Updated: 2007-01-07
IMSA was founded in 1969 as a response to dissatification with the direction being taken by SCCA Pro Racing at the time; The IMSA GT category for sports cars quickly evolved into the popular GTP category for sports car prototypes, supported by GTO and GTU for cars bearing a greater resemblence to genuine roadgoing cars. In the early 90s, it was clear that escalating costs would soon kill GTP, and IMSA replaced the series with "World Sports Cars", which achieved a measure of popularity.
In early 1997, IMSA changed its name to Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc. and announced that the prefered popular name would be "SportsCar®". As the Sport Car Club of America had been racing under their name for 49 years and published a monthly magazine named SportsCar® for most all of that time, this was treated seriously by the SCCA, and the SCCA came out on top in the legal environment flowing from the trademark infringement.
IMSA has since changed ownership, and reverted to their original name. At the present time, IMSA sanctions the American LeMans series and a number of other successful sports car racing series.
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