Welcome to the IMSA History unofficial website

This site is aimed at bringing you memories from the glory days of sportscar racing in the US.



"1971: At the start of 1971, I made a commitment to make the Sting Ray a dedicated racecar. I had heard about the new IMSA GT series. I had read the rules and felt that this series would allow me to use my drag racing background to my advantage. SCCA regulations were a bit restrictive when it came to engine modification Growing up in a small town most of my friends were into drag racing. In those days, you had to be at least 21 to run in SCCA and so I had spent plenty of time at the local drag strips racing everything from the Fiat-Abarth to the Sting Ray while waiting to turn 21, when I could go road racing. I got a copy of the FIA Homologation papers for the car. We built a fresh engine using some of the tricks I had learned from friends who raced Chevrolet engines at the drag strip and dirt tracks.

The first race of '71 was an SCCA National event at the Cumberland, MD airport circuit. The new engine was way stronger than any of my previous engines but a blown head gasket put me out of the race. We fixed the problem and the following week we loaded the car into the back of a Hertz rental truck and drove to Charlotte for the IMSA GT series race. I had asked Jim Glazier to co-drive with me again. We showed up at Charlotte looking a bit rag-tag with that rental truck and a pit crew made up of Jim's mechanic and the two high school kids despite the crew team uniforms. We finished 2nd in GTO behind Dave Heinz and Or Costanzo. The 3rd place 427 Sting Ray finished some 16 miles back.

At the next race at the Bridgehampton IMSA event I ran as high as 2nd in GTO behind the 427 Corvette of John Paul. I remember coming onto the main straight ahead of Peter Gregg. He pulled along side of me as we came out of the preceding turn. I remember looking over at him and he looked at me. I knew I could have pulled ahead of him on the straightaway, but he'd probably catch me at the next set of turn, so I let him go by and followed him as long as I could. I had tried to drive the race by myself but fatigue got to me and my lap times were starting to fluctuate. Up the then, my lap times had been holding with a half-second a lap for almost two hours. Rather than lose position, I turned the car over to Glazier for the last hour, hoping he would be able to maintain the position that I had gained. . Unfortunately with only 15 minutes to go, a connecting rod broke. Even after loss of engine, I had built up a good enough position to be listed as 3rd in GTO. I finished season 5th nationally in GTO points.

1972-1973 The next year, we took the car to Mid-Ohio for the Camel GT 6 Hour. For this race, I had asked my old co-driver and mentor Bob Mouat to drive with me. During morning qualifying, Bob had the throttle stick and the car went onto the dew slick grass and head on into a guardrail. Later, I built a 1972 Corvette, using the drive train from the '66 car to compete in the IMSA Camel GT series. . During the construction period, I drove for several other teams. I drove a Datsun 240Z for a team out of Washington, DC with 4th place finishes in GTU in IMSA Camel GT events at Watkins Glen and Briar, NH. I also drove a Camaro for a Canadian team finishing 4th in the Touring Over category at VIR. Highlight of season was having 2nd fastest qualifying time in the rain at Charlotte IMSA event. Unfortunately, it was dry for the race and then the engine went rough to the point I dropped out rather than cause damage to what was getting to be more and more expensive engines. In 1975 Was part (small part) of the Amorall Porsche Racing Team with drivers Charlie Kemp and Carson Baird. We finished 2nd at Daytona 24hr and 6th at the Sebring 12HR. I covered the Daytona 3hr small sedan race and did a 5-page feature article, with photos for Small Cars Magazine. Later that year I entered the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona. I was considered the fastest small block car. Well that's what my crew said it looked like while I was on the track. Of course most of the GTO cars were running 427/454 engines. During practice, a wire vibrated off of the voltage regulator. I put it back on but the charging system was compromised. The Paul Revere was a night race and we had to run the headlights. Running on the battery, the car started running rough and was sidelined the car. The race won by factory BMW team driven by Hans Stuck."

Don Haines at Charlotte 1971.