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Exclusive dinner highlights IMSA history

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Kevin Cogan driving the IMSA GTP Zakspeed Roush Ford Mustang to a third-place finish at Road Atlanta in 1982. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company.

We’ll say this: If you’re interested in attending a spectacular presentation this April 1 on the history of the International Motor Sports Association, act quickly because just 100 “fan tickets” will be available for sale. Being presented at the Wally Parks Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, the dinner will salute the history of IMSA from its founding by John Bishop in 1969 until its sale in 1988.

The evening will include both a gourmet dinner and a showing of slides by Mitch Bishop, son of John, who passed away in 2014. Next will come a film presentation and a roundtable discussion of IMSA history by Mitch and the acclaimed racing photojournalist Pete Lyons.

Best of all, arguably, will be a series of talks by racers who found their own success during the IMSA years. Invited are drivers Tommy Kendall, John Morton, Nick Craw, Jeff Kline, John Fitzpatrick and others. Mazda will display a selection of IMSA race cars from its corporate museum collection, as well as iconic rivals, a Porsche 962 and a Toyota GTP from the Tom Malloy collection.

The evening’s highlight is assured to be the presentation of the Peter Bryant Challenger Award, named for the famed race engineer and car designer, which will go to the person who best epitomizes the spirit of the sport. The most recent such recipient was the immortal Dan Gurney. Organizers are also planning an autograph session and a silent auction of racing memorabilia. Each IMSA Tribute attendee will receive a gift bag that includes a commemorative medallion, limited-edition poster and event T-shirt. Lodging is available at the on-site Sheraton Fairplex Hotel at a special rate. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit