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Beginner’s Luck?


Mark Raffauf’s career with IMSA dates back to the early ’70s.

The current Senior Director of Racing Operations has served in a variety of roles throughout his tenure in all facets of the business. But one role Raffauf hadn’t played until recently was that of "author."

Mitch Bishop is the son of IMSA co-founders John and Peggy Bishop, who launched the sanctioning body along with Bill France in 1969. Mitch is a successful marketing, sales and software engineering leader in Silicon Valley, but he hadn’t previously held an "author" title either.

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As eyewitnesses to most of IMSA’s history – and especially those early days – Raffauf and Bishop were uniquely qualified to tell the story of IMSA’s first 20 years. So, they became co-authors of "IMSA 1969-1989," which was published last year by Octane Press.

As one would surmise from the title, the book covers the first two decades of IMSA, from its beginnings with a Formula Ford race at Pocono Raceway in 1969 through the sanctioning body’s first "Golden Era" of IMSA GTP racing. It features firsthand accounts from Raffauf and Bishop, as well as many top drivers, team owners and manufacturer representatives from the era.

And as it turns out, Raffauf and Bishop’s storytelling expanded their title a bit. They’re now "award-winning authors."

The book won a 2020 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY), scoring a Bronze medal in the Sports/Fitness/Recreation category of 24th annual Independent Publishers Book Awards contest.

"It was a pretty good effort for two guys who didn’t really know what the heck they were doing," Raffauf said. "Obviously, Mitch and I are honored because we’ve never done something like this before."

In honor of the award, Octane Press is offering "IMSA 1969-1989" at a discounted price of $65. Pick up your copy now at OctanePress.com.