What began as the sanctioning body for a Formula Ford and Formula Vee race at Pocono Raceway in October 1969 has grown over five decades to become an international auto racing powerhouse specializing in world-class sports car competition, and next year, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) turns 50.
To commemorate the golden anniversary, IMSA and stakeholders including series partners, manufacturers, teams, drivers, event promoters and fans will join together in a season-long 50th Anniversary celebration that will begin with the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona on the weekend of Jan. 24-27 and will carry all the way through to the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 11-13.
“Almost 50 years ago, Bill France Sr. and John and Peggy Bishop laid a foundation that today supports one of the most prominent auto racing organizations in the world,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “The story of IMSA over the past five decades is truly fascinating and will be told throughout our 2019 50th Anniversary celebration in several ways by a variety of stakeholders.
“From historic race car liveries and commemorative logos to many other surprises throughout the season for fans at-track and watching through our new-for-2019 partnership with NBC Sports, it will be a year-long celebration for all to enjoy.”
A key component of the celebration is the official 50th Anniversary IMSA logo that was publicly unveiled for the first time this evening as part of the State of the Series presentation at Road America. The logo – which will be featured on items such as uniforms, race car liveries and commemorative merchandise in 2019 – incorporates many elements of the traditional IMSA logo, including the 27-degree angle from vertical center and the familiar “apex arrow” that has long been a part of IMSA’s brand identity.
Enhancing the logo is the use of gold to signify IMSA’s “golden” anniversary, as well as laurels that symbolize excellence, honor and victory. A secondary commemorative logo, which replaces the standard red in the current IMSA logo with gold and features the addition of “Est. 1969” also was unveiled and will be used throughout 2019 in selected applications as well.
IMSA will be centering its celebration around four cornerstones — “Drivers and Teams,” “Tracks,” “Manufacturers” and “Fans.” These pillars will be highlighted at 2019 events and will have a presence the entire season as the foundation of what has made IMSA what it is today.