IMSA Camel GT Series Corvette Race Cars 1971-1995

Original research data and photos brought to you by
the Registry of Corvette Race Cars and the National Corvette Museum


Bard Boand 1981
Clark Howie 2011 CWT

Dave Heinz 1972

Dave Heinz 1985

Greg Pickett 1987

Jerry Thompson & Don Yenko 1974

John Greenwood 1970

John Greenwood 1972

John Greenwood 1975

John Heinricy 1987

John Heinricy 1994

John Paul 1978

Ray Mulacek 2011 CWT

Rich Sloma 1978

Richard Anderson & Bard Boand 1982

Richard Anderson 2011 CWT

Rick Hay 1977

Rusty & Max Schmidt 1983

Rusty & Max Schmidt 2011 CWT

Tony DeLorenzo 1973

Walt Bohren 1977

Wilbur Pickett & Bill Bean 1971

Wilbur Pickett & Bill Bean 2011 CWT

In 1971, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) was an upstart pro racing series for sports cars, founded by John Bishop, former SCCA executive director. Bishop got early support from Porsche which was displeased at the time with the SCCA; and sponsorship from R.J. Reynolds (Camel) through a connection with NASCAR's Bill France Jr, (Winston Cup). IMSA grew into North America's leading series for production-based sports cars (GT) and prototypes (GTP), taking over the FIA sanctioned 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. A management dispute doomed IMSA in 1996 after it was sold to new owners. In 2002 Don Panoz acquired the IMSA rights and logo gaining the international recognition needed for his ALMS Series where the Pratt & Miller Corvette Racing team has set an enviable record.

Continuing in the format of our earlier Tracking Trans Am Corvettes (archived on our home page) this e-mailing consists of (1) spreadsheets of IMSA Corvette drivers for all years of the series 1971 to 1995, every race and every track and (2) a large photo gallery of IMSA GT Corvettes shown in roughly ascending order by car number. These efforts are credited to Wayne Ellwood and photographers Bill Oursler, Fred Lewis, Mike O'Dell, Mark Windecker, Brent Martin, Joe Cali, Louis Galanos, the late Vic Oliver and others who were on the scene and permitted us to share their work. We are pleased to direct you for any photo requests.

Here are some observations on Corvettes in the IMSA GT Series. We welcome yours.

IMSA GT Corvettes were outnumbered by factory supported "customer" 911, 914 and 935 Porsche models but drew crowds and enjoyed a loyal following (like us!).

IMSA's looser rules fostered Greenwood's innovative wide body cars designs, suspensions, tube frame chassis and the ultimate GT1 Shark fastback configuration as C3 model production ended in 1982.

While IMSA GT Corvettes occasionally won their class, they never won a manufacturers championship. Nonetheless they are collectable, popular for vintage racing and not overly expensive to buy and maintain.

Leading IMSA GT Corvette drivers of the period include John Greeenwood, Phil Currin, Tony DeLorenzo, Jerry Thompson, Babe Headley, John Paul, Rich Sloma, Rick Hay, Dave Heinz and John Heinricy.

Five IMSA GT Corvettes appeared at the recent Corvette World Tribute in the hands of racers Clark Howie #73, NCM Trustee Richard Anderson and Bard Boand #38, Ray Mulacek # 19 and Rusty and Max Schmidt #41 and a Field of Dreams display car #94 formerly raced by Wilbur Pickett and Bill Beane.

More IMSA GT Corvettes should be on hand at Sebring when the Corvette celebrates its 60th birthday in 2013.