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Inside IMSA's Legendary GTP Race Cars: The Prototype Experience Hardcover – April 15, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Hardcover, April 15, 2008
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Book Description

The International Motor Sports Association’s (IMSA) Grand Touring Prototypes (GTP) race series was an all-out competition, with one team's idea of the fastest race car pitted against another’s, regardless of mechanical “parity.” This book tells the story of the heart-stopping result, and of 18 amazing machines that came out of the GTP’s flat-out competition among different--and passionate--ideas about what might be the fastest way around a track. Using photography, diagrams, drawings and first-person accounts from the men who built the cars, the book offers a detailed look at the technology that created some of the world’s most exciting races, the likes of which may never be seen again.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Professional automobile racing has always been dominated by sanctioning bodies whose main goal was to ensure fair competition.  Today’s major race series--NASCAR, F1, and Champ Car--achieve this by restricting the car’s designers and engineers.  NASCAR mandates all their cars’ body shapes conform to a specific template and requires that engines be of a particular size.  F1 teams can choose from a limited number of chassis/engine combinations.  And Champ Car teams don’t get to choose anything except how to tune the single chassis/engine combination available to them.

 

While parity might make for “fair” competition, it often creates uninspired racing. So what happens when the rules are slackened? When creativity and novel design is encouraged? Those were the questions posed by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) for its Grand Touring Prototypes (GTP) race series, which ran from 1981 to 1993.

 

The result was a stunning variety of racing machines, each with its own highly sophisticated technology.  Every car was a unique solution to a common problem: getting around the racetrack fastest.  In the end, each car was an automotive testimony to its engineer’s philosophy. 

 

Every decision had consequences.  A V-12 allowed better ground-effect tunnels, but had a higher center of gravity (CG).  A flat six had a low CG, but severely restricted ground-effect tunnels.  Each designer used a different combination of wings, air dams, and other aerodynamic tools

to keep his car glued to the track.  It was an engineering free-for-all, the culmination of almost a century of automobile racing experience. And, sadly, it was a spectacle unlikely to be duplicated.

 

Inside IMSA’s Legendary GTP Race Cars tells the full story of these mechanical marvels.  Using photography, diagrams, drawings, and first-person accounts from the men who built and raced these highly advanced cars, the authors offer a detailed look at the technology of fourteen of the most competitive cars that contested the series.   It’s the story of no-holds-barred racing, the kind true racing enthusiasts can only dream of today.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks; 1st edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760330697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760330692
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Brooks on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After all these years, somebody has written an extensive history of the IMSA GTP car. Highly readable and very informative. Even for those who don't understand the technology or the engineering involved, it's still a good read; the illustrations help at least somewhat.

My only complaint is that there is no history of the cars in competition, no won-loss record, no roster of teams and drivers who campaigned each car.

Other than that it's great value for the money
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great reference for fans of mid-80's IMSA prototype racers. The most informative book I've ever seen on these cars. Great pictures and reference for model builders.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The group C and GTP era of racing was amongst the most exciting times of racing, and was definitely the most innovative era of racing. This book is structured as 15 or 16 short stories about what the top teams built and why they operated the way they did, with a very well written foreward about the era in general. Of the giant pile of racing and other automotive literature I own, this is one of my favorites; in fact, this book in particular has spent the last year as a shim between my logitech steering wheel and my desktop while I play racing simulators, with occasional breaks for re-reading portions. One of the authors maintains an informationally rich, most excellent website with mid-to-late 90's aesthetics and web design principals on ht [...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent review with plenty of technical background. Not focused on the race results or drivers, although there is plenty of commentary provided by the racers and engineers. Graphic layout is a little unpolished, but there are photos here not likey to be seen anywhere else. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book covering the diversified insights to how GTP cars are prototyped ,designed ,manufactured and all the theoretical and technical insights behind the scenes in requiring to understand the time and dedication devoted to this legendary field of expertise and the masters who have all contributed in one way or another in the development design and manufacture evolution of race cars and vehicles the way they are and their performance and dynamics associated in this field
This is truly legendary to all who contributed through the years to this field of expertise
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a fantastic recollection of a golden age of American road-racing. To start, the photographs are superb: even if there was no text, the book would be worth the price for the excellent photos alone. I particularly liked the detail photos of engines, aero-packages and other technical details. The authors then go further an add detailed history and a decent technical overview of the cars. Overall, highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wanted this book for years, finally broke down and bought it and my only complaint is WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG! A very good account of the types of GTP cars than ran in the glory days of IMSA.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book, and how it was put together. Mike has done a fantastic job telling the stories of old.
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