ISRS - The return of Group 6
IMSA (now the Professional Sportscar organisation) launched a series for sportsracers (open top, notionally 2 seater, sports prototypes) after the demise of the GTP series there.
Cars like the Ferrari (shown above in a photograph from Juan Pedro Adrados), the Riley and Scott and Spice, compete with each other. Racing is generally close and a number of manufacturers (including Ferrari and Chevrolet) provide engines, which equivalence rules allow to compete together on a more or less even basis.
The double Le Mans winning TWR-Joest Porsche was designed for the WSC series, but last minute restrictions imposed on turbo engines led Porsche to withdraw in disgust. The car was then consigned to a museum until Joest persuaded the Porsche factory to lend it to him, with such success.
In Europe, BRM chief, John Mangoletsi, was keen to go racing in prototypes. Armed with the promising, but undeveloped, BRM group C car, he attracted interest from sports prototype manufacturers, Courage, Kremer and Debora, as well as Joest and Ferrari.
A series was run in Europe in 1997. Consisting of just 3, poorly supported, races, it didn't look like the makings of a great series, but as GT racing threatened to tear itself apart in the hands of Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and 'win-at-all-cost'ers like Mercedes, the series suddenly bloomed as the likes of Ray Bellm transferred their alligances and, not inconsiderable sponsorship to running WSC Ferraris in the series.
Already, BMW and Porsche are exhibiting interest in the category as it offers a great way to develop highly competitive (and as we've seen in recent years, Le Mans winning) sportscars at a fraction of the cost of developing a competitive GT1 GT car.
Juan Pedro Adrados went to the Jarama round in 1997 and took the following photographs of the machines likely to make up the bulk of the field in the 1998 series. Many Thanks.
Top To Bottom, left to right : Courage C36, Courage C41, Centenari, Debora LMP 297, Kremer K8
Finally, a page on the ISRS wouldn't be complete without a shot of the Joest-Porsche-TWR car which has won Le Mans for the last two years running and was the pace-setter, and race winner, at the first ISRS race at Donnington.
There is now an official ISRS website.
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