IMSA 1969 – 1989 The Inside Story of How John Bishop Built The World’s Greatest Sports Car Racing Series.

For Immediate Release    

Media Contact: Jo Snyder

Austin, Texas. January 2019 The first 20 years of one of the most iconic racing series in American history is chronicled by the son of the founder and the organization’s senior director of race operations (and former president) in IMSA 1969 – 1989, a new authoritative and beautifully presented history of the organization behind the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and many other world-class sports car racing events. Launching at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, authors Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf will be on hand throughout the weekend to sign the first copies to go on sale and share the stories behind the book. Direct from the horse’s mouth, you can’t get a more behind-the-scenes look at the organization than this!

Fifty years ago, a new sanctioning body emerged at a pivotal moment in motorsports history. Racing was on the upswing. New tracks were being built across the US, imported cars from Europe and Japan were flooding the market, designers were pushing limits, and drivers were looking for an opportunity to race for more than just a trophy. Into this void stepped John Bishop with a fledgling organization called the International Motor Sports Association that offered competitive, professional racing in a friendly atmosphere and carried a new message: Racing with a Difference.

In this behind-the-scenes book, Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf tell the inside story of how IMSA became a global powerhouse in just a few short years. It covers John Bishop’s early life, his years at the SCCA and tells the story of how IMSA grew from humble beginnings in 1969 into the Camel GT Series, a circuit that became the most popular form of professional sports car racing in the world. Interviews with many of the top drivers, team owners, car builders, and others from the era helped shape this book, which also includes hundreds of never-before- published photos.

The first twenty years of IMSA’s history deliver fascinating stories of vision, innovation, common sense leadership, and overcoming personal tragedy. Bishop and IMSA left an enormous imprint on the racing world and changed thousands of lives. With a foreword by Jim France, IMSA Chairman and NASCAR Vice Chairman, IMSA 1969-1989 is a must-read for those interested in how it all happened and in learning critical management lessons still applicable in today’s motor racing world.

Book Specifications:
Authors: Mitch Bishop and Mark Raffauf
Foreword: Jim France, IMSA Chairman,
NASCAR Vice Chairman
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 11.8125 x 10.5 inches,
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Octane Press
ISBN: 978-1-937747-89-3
Pricing: $100.00 US & Canada / £ 80.00 UK
Publication Date: January 26, 2018

Available from Octane Press or anywhere books are sold.
IMSA 1969-1989 is published by Octane Press. To request interviews, images of the cover
and/or authors and sample spreads and images, contact Jo Snyder at or
1.512- 507-7867.
Excerpts can be made available for print or digital publication upon request.


Friday, 25 January – 10-11am and 4-5pm
Saturday, 26 January – 9-10am, 12-1pm and 7-8pm

Sunday, 27 January – 10-11am

About the Authors
Mitch Bishop is the son of IMSA founder John Bishop. Over the last 40+ years, Mitch has built
a successful career as a marketing, sales, and software engineering leader in the Silicon Valley.
He is an active racer and sits on the leadership council for the International Motor Racing
Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York.
Mark Raffauf started working for IMSA in 1974 when he was just 16 and now is the longest-
serving employee. He is a former president of IMSA, and he’s still there today as senior director
of race operations. Through the many iterations of IMSA and Grand-Am since then, he’s held
IMSA positions related to overall management, technical and car regulation development and
enforcement, as well as event, sporting, and racing operations.