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.



"To begin with, Chassis 325 with a Porsche engine, that was entered in the Daytona 24 Hour, 1986, was ordered by me, as the sole owner, originally. I put a deposit on it and when it arrived at the docks, my financial crisis had begun and I couldn't perform with regards to the final invoice. It was actually paid for by Jim Busby, a friend, neighbor in Newport Beach, California and a GTP team owner/driver of the Porsche 962, BF Goodrich #67 GTP car. I saw the chassis once at Jim's shop when he was showing me how inferior the manufacturing job was. I don't remember anything about the Daytona 24-hour race entry. I was introduced to Al Holbert, Director of Motor Sports for Porsche/North America, by Jim Busby, sometime in 1985. Based on Busby's recommendation and Holbert's observation of our team in the 1985 season, we executed a contract with Porsche to be their GTP Light team. We were to lease two Porsche engines and transmissions for $1.00 per annum, and provide other services I can't remember. We also entered into an arrangement with Tiga with regards to the chassis, but I don't remember the conditions. That's how a Porsche engine and transmission came to rest in the not-very-professionally-built Tiga Chassis #325.

I was previously a Sports 2000, SCCA Professional driver and team owner of a Tiga Sports 2000 and previously competed in that car as an amateur. Western Empire Savings and Loan Association (WESL) which I was the Chairman of the Board and principal stockholder of, sponsored the first professional race series for Sports 2000's in the USA. Either it was the American Cities Racing League (ACRL), or the precursor to the ACRL. (I resigned from WESL in 1986, I believe, due to my personal financial disaster, and was not involved in December of 1988, when WESL was acquired by Castle and Harlan. They lost WESL In 1990, I think, when WESL was seized by the Regulators. I am explaining this so that you don't decide to describe the fate of WESL vis-a-vis me. That situation had nothing to do with me personally.) I originally started racing by renting cars and crews from Zephyr Racing, owned by Dominic Dobson (Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in 1988, I think) and Ron Nelson ( Currently sole owner of The Driving Connection in Petaluma, CA, formerly Team Manager and driver for my Siegel Racing, and before that Chief Driving Instructor for Bondurant Driving School, in Sonoma, CA), after attending Bondurant driving school. I then bought two consecutive Tiga Sports 2000's.

Did you run any other series before? Sports 2000. Your sole IMSA season was not a bad season. Can you tell me why you did not run in 1986. Was it because of money or anything else ? I began a long trip into insolvency in 1986 that ended in the early 1990's in a bankruptcy. This was the first piece of me that went. Were you the sole owner of the car ? Yes Can you give me some kind of review of your season ? Only memories are: Busted half-shaft in Columbia street race; Left muffler on tailpipe to start Daytona 24 hours and had to come in after first lap; Lost first and maybe second gears at Watkins Glen with me driving and I didn't handle it well; and, we would have won Sears Point except we didn't think there was sufficient fuel to complete it, so Ron Nelson came in for a dash of petrol allowing the second place car, driven by Jeff Kline for Malibu Grand Prix, to finish first. Did the car undergo any development ? I'm not sure, but unlikely. How did you feel after your second place in Lights at Sears Point ? We could have easily won first if it were not for our concerns regarding fuel. Ron Nelson drove the whole race and set some sort of course record. Did you experience some engine failures or anything ? We had the reserve gas tank plumbed wrong for the Riverside race. As a result, with me driving, we ran out of gas while, I think, in first place. We never started the Laguna Seca race because I crashed while testing on Saturday, we worked through the night to be ready to race on Sunday, then Ron crashed on Sunday before the race started. Jinxed weekend I guess."

Howard Siegel was co-driven by Scott Pruett at Columbus.