The next race was to take place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time, on 18th april. Seventeen cars would show up, with only seven GTPs facing nine Lights and one WSC. Still undefeated in 1993, the track seemed perfectly suited to the Eagle Toyota MKIIIs abilities. Juan Fangio II and PJ Jones would have to face two Joest Porsche 962s, driven by Bob Wollek-Ronny Meixner and Manuel Reuter and John Winter. Wayne Taylor would try to compensate the Chevrolet GTP's lack of speed with his own talent. Gianpiero Moretti was partnered by Derek Bell in the Nissan NPT90, a car that was no more developed. David Tennyson was the last GTP entrant with his Spice SE90P Chevrolet, but he was to fight against the Porsche 962s. The Lights class was to be more attractive, up to a certain point. Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin still were the favorites, but the Motorola Spice AK93 Acura was a valuable challenger. Bob Earl was partnered by Bob Schader, who was a tad slower than him. Jim Downing and John Maffucci were at the wheel of the Kudzu DG2 Buick which was improving slowing. Another Kudzu, which was a Mazda powered DG1, was entered by European Auto Sales, for Jim Pace and Mike Sheehan. It was Jim Downing former car. Ed de Long entered two Tiga GT286 Buick, which he would share with Bobby Brown and Chris Ivey. Neil Jamieson entered a Alba AR2 Ford he would co-drive fellow countryman John Jones. The last car was a Fabcar Porsche, driven by Sam Shalala and Anthony Lazzaro. An old car, indeed. The last entry was to showcase what was held in store for the years to come, with a WSC Kudzu Buick. This car was entered by Andy Evans, would was partnered by François Migault. The car would prove slower than the fastest Lights cars, which gave a sneak preview of the series evolution. The practice sessions held no surprise, as PJ Jones once again was faster than his teammate, Juan Fangio II. The two cars were followed by the two Joest Porsche 962s. The race would once again belong to AAR drivers, with Juan Fangio II and PJ Jones fighting hard, well ahead of the opposition. It looked like they would have to toss the dice to win, but it would be the pits which should make the difference. The win went to Juan Fangio II, by seven seconds. Bob Wollek and Ronny Meixner were third, but three laps down. The Lights class was a hard-fought one, with Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin emerging from the battle and winning over Jim Downing and Tim McAdam. Bob Earl and Bob Schader took third in their Spice Acura.
Lime Rock was the next race, and it featured only fourteen cars. They were led, of course, by the two AAR Eagle Toyota MKIIIs, driven by Juan Fangio II and PJ Jones. They would have to face one Porsche 962C, entered and driven by Gianpiero Moretti, with Derek Bell co-driving. The Porsche 966 was here, with John Paul Jr at the wheel. David Tennyson fielded his usual Spice SE90P Chevrolet, but he was not listed to drive it. Jay Cochran would be the driver. Wayne Taylor was at the wheel of the Chevrolet GTP, but it seemed that the car was not up to the task. One sole WSC car was entered, which was the Scandia owned Kudzu DG2 Buick driven by François Migault. The Lights class was still to showcase the classical battle between the two Spice SE90P Acuras, with Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin driving the Comptech car, and Bob Earl driving the Brix Racing car. Jim Pace and Mike Sheehan would co-drive the Kudzu DG1 Mazda entered by European Auto Sales. A canadian Spice SE88P Ford was to debut the series with Miroslav Jonak driving the car solo. John Jones and Jeff Lapcevich drove the Bieri Racing Alba AR2 Ford, while Ed de Long entered his Tiga GT287 Buick, he was co-driven by Bruce McInnes. PJ Jones proved again that he was not to be outpaced by his teammate. He again won the pole, just ahead of Juan Fangio II. The race was again all Toyota. They would fight it off all race long, with Juan Fangio II emerging as the race winner. Jay Cochran finished third, but he was five laps down. Parker Johnstone again captured the class win, and he was to win easily, as his two main opponents were to retire, due to accidents. Mike Sheehan and Jim Pace ended up second, ahead of the Alba AR2 Ford driven by John Jones and Jeff Lapcevich. François Migault won the WSC, with no opposition, but he was behind Parker Johnstone by eight laps.
The next round was held at Mid Ohio, with a seventeen car field, once again. Some new cars would show up for the first time, however, adding a welcome diversity. The GTP class was to be graced by this, but the only car able to contest the Toyota supremacy was the Nissan NPT90 entered by Gianpiero Moretti, which was driven by himself and Derek Bell. Wayne Taylor could also have a go at it, but the Chevrolet GTP was hampered by its poor top speed. Another interesting fact was the absence of any Porsche 962! It was the first time an IMSA event was to feature such info since 1984. Miroslav Jonak was again entering a Spice SE87 Ford, but his car was entered in the GTP class. Was it because of his non-compliance with the two driver rule? The last GTP car was the new Chevron B65 Buick entered by Dick Leppla. An interesting new car, but still to be developed. The Lights class was kind of similar to the previous events, with Parker Johnstone car facing the Kudzu DG2 Buick entered by Jim Downing. Bob Schader's Spice was also a contender, with Bob Earl at the wheel. The remainder of the field was populated with older cars. Ken Parschauer and Jim Pace ran a Kudzu DG1 Mazda, which was still competitive. Neil Jamieson and Jeff Lapcevich ran the old Alba AR2 Ford, while Charles Monk and John Higgins ran the reliable Pro Technik Fabcar Porsche which was getting older. Ed de Long entered his two Tiga GT287 Buick which had trouble keeping up the pace. A very interesting Phoenix Alfa Romeo, entered by Auto Volante, was to be driven by Steve Deeks and Steven Sirgany. The WSC class featured two cars, and those were two new cars, as Skandia Motorsport did not enter its Kudzu. Brent O'neill had modified his Argo JM19 Buick, in order to accomodate the next year's rules. The car displayed an open roof and was WSC compliant. Much more unusual was the Pegasus BMW, entered by Crutchfield car Audio. The car was basically a Lotus Esprit, once again with a chopped roof, and fitted with a huge rear wing. The original engine had been removed and replaced by a BMW 3,5L engine. A very strange mix, indeed, but the car was attractive. Oliver Kuttner would drive it. PJ Jones seemed to get accustomed to edging his teammate during the practice sessions, but the race again went to Juan Fangio II. Once again, the pit stops would set the choice for Juan Fangio II. The opposition was outperformed and Gianpiero Moretti and Derek Bell were four laps down after two hours of racing! Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin emerged as the winners in the Lights class over Jim Downing and Tim McAdam in their Kudzu DG2 Buick. Bob Earl and Bob Schader finished in third place. Brent O'neill won the WSC class while retiring on lap sixty six. Oliver Kuttner had just retired earlier.
The next race, at Watkins Glen, just promised to be a little more exciting, with a fifty car field, and a GTS, GTO, GTU and Invitational GT mix of cars. Without any surprise, the two AAR Eagle Toyota MKIIIs should have it easy. They would have to face two Joest Porsche 962Cs, driven by John Winter-Manuel Reuter and Hurley Haywood. Gianpiero Moretti and Derek Bell had some reasonable hopes in such a long race. Wayne Taylor would run solo his Chevrolet GTP, while Hugh Fuller and Chris Hodgetts were at the wheel of a Spice SE90P Chevrolet, which was backed by GM? The Lights class was to display the classical battle between Spice Acura vs Kudzu Buick. Parker Johnstone was running solo, while Jim Downing and Howard Katz would share the wheel of the Bel Ray backed car. Bob Earl and Bob Schader were valuable contenders in their Spice AK93 Acura. Miroslav Jonak had an older Spice, Ford powered. Ed de Long entered his Tiga GT287 Buick he would share with Nick Holmes and Bobby Brown had a similar car, John Macaluso co-drove him. Michael Sheehan and Jim Pace were running their Kudzu DG1 Mazda and Neil Jamieson and John Jones would use their Alba AR2 Ford. The WSC class saw two cars fighting it off : the Kudzu Buick co-driven by Andy Evans and François Migault would face the Argo Buick driven by Brent O'neill.
The GTS class was more interesting, with a Ford-Oldsmobile-Nissan battle. Tommy Kendall would drive the formidable Ford Mustang Cobra, which was curiously the only Roush entered car. Two Rocketsports Oldsmobile Cutlasses, driven by Darin Brassfield and Paul Gentilozzi would provide him with a stiff opposition. The same could be told about the two Nissan 300ZXs, with John Morton and Steve Millen driving. Two Chevrolet Camaros, privately entered, were here too. Kent Painter and Bruce Trenery shared the Fantasy Junction car while Oma Kimbrough and David Kicak were running another car. The GTU class also was fine, with a Nissan-Mazda contest. Fastcolor Auto Art entered two Nissan 240SXs for Bob and Butch Leitzinger, while a similar car was also fielded by Kryderacing, driven by Reed Kryder. A bunch of Mazda RX7s, with some strong drivers, could give them a run for their money. Bill Auberlen and Eduardo Dibos, as well as Dick Greer had a chance at winning their class. Support Net Racing entered a Mazda MX6 with Henry Camferdam at the wheel. Three Porsche 911s were also entered, with Jack Lewis and Steve Hynes on a conventional looking car. Alex Job proposed a slant nose version, with Charles Slater and Bill Ferran driving. Ray Hendricks had also a 911, as Jay Kjoller who shared his car with Joe Cogbill. The next class was the most consistent, in terms of entry. The GTO class was the former AC class, which was now running with the top cars.The cars were less developed than the GTS cars, but they were spectacular. Les Lindley entered a nice looking Ford Mustang, and he would have to face a lot of Oldsmobile Cutlasses. Brian de Vries, Dan Osterholt-Clay Young, Charles Morgan, Joe Llauget, Joe Pezza, Mark Porcaro and Flip Groggins were all nice contenders. Nick Cole and Ken Bupp-Peter Uria entered a Chevrolet Camaro, while Robert Basso and Phil Kelly drove an unusual Oldsmobile Calais. The Invitational GT class featured a pair of Chevrolet Corvettes, entered by Mobil1, against a bunch of Porsches. John Heinricy and Andy Pilgrim, Jim Minneker and Del Percilla would oppose to the likes of Jochen Rohr, who entered a new generation of cars, and Vito Scavone, with a 944 turbo. A relatively nice field would enable 50000 spectators to watch a race which seemed to be promised to AAR. PJ Jones again was on the pole, and he battled with Juan Fangio II until lap forty one, when he had to retire with a mechanical failure. Juan Fangio then led until the chequered, unchallenged by his followers. Manuel Reuter and John Winter took a well deserved second place in their Joest Porsche 962, while the Spice SE90P driven by Chris Hodgetts and Hugh Fuller was surprisingly third. The Lights class was somewhat different from the usual scheme as Parker Johnstone, who started dead last, had to retire with mechanical problems. As Jim Downing and Tim McAdam were also hindered by some gremlins, the win went to Bob Schader and Bob Earl in the Spice AK93 Acura, with Mike Sheehan and Jim Pace taking the second place. The GTS went to Darin Brassfield who ended up ahead of Tom Kendall in his Ford Mustang Cobra while both Nissan 300ZXs were eliminated in an accident. The GTU class went to Butch Leitzinger, who drove the team's Nissan 240SX, with Bill Auberlen finishing second in his Mazda RX7. The GTO class was won by Les Lindley who managed to keep ahead of the Oldsmobile fleet. Brian de Vries took a very strong second place in class. The Invitational GT class went to the Chevrolet Corvette driven by Andy Pilgrim and John Heinricy, defeating the Porsche 911 driven by Jochen Rohr and John O'steen.
The next race was built on the same format, which meant that a nice field of forty three cars was still to be seen at Road America. But IMSA was experiencing some hardships and the future was kind of being unshaped. AAR and Toyota were already stepping out of the series, with no WSC project in their bookcase. With the title already won, they were thinking about the future. So it was decided not to enter any car in this race. That left one opportunity for the opposition to garner some points for the championship. This lead to a strange situation, with only four GTP cars at the start. Joest Racing fielded two Porsche 962Cs, driven by John Winter and Manuel Reuter, with the second car handed to John Paul Jr. Charles Slater was the guest driver at the wheel of the Porsche 966, and Wayne Taylor could jump on a nice occasion to win one race. The Lights class was no different, as it was the same fixture as per usual. The Comptech and Brix teams entered one car with Parker Johnstone-Dan Marvin and Bob Schader-Bob Earl dicing all race long. Jim Downing and Tim McAdam with a new Kudzu DG3 Mazda and Mike Sheehan and Jim Pace in the older car. The two remaining cars were the Bobby Brown entered Tiga and the Spice Fiero driven by Miroslav Jonak.
The GTS cars would provide us with a nice show, as three Oldsmobile Cutlasses faced one Ford Mustang Cobra, driven by Tom Kendall. Paul Gentilozzi, Darin Brassfield and Scott Pruett all wanted to capture the class win. Johnny O'connell was the sole Nissan driver in his 300ZX. Two Chevrolet Camaros were entered, Bill Fuller driving his own car and Kent Painter the Western Chemical entry. The GTO class was the Olds Cutlass home, with six cars. Charles Morgan, Joe Pezza, Joe Llauget, Mark Porcaro, Dan Osterholt and Brian de Vries all had a chance at winning their class. Les Lindley could strike them down in his Ford Mustang Cobra, but he was alone. Ken Bupp and Nick Cole ran a Chevrolet Camaro. The WSC class was three car strong, with Andy Evans back with his Kudzu DG2 Buick, his only opponent being Oliver Kuttner in his Pegasus and Cass Whitehead in his very strange Mantac Chevrolet. The GTU should be interesting, with a bunch of Mazdas facing two Nissan 240SXs. Bill Auberlen, newcomer Eduardo Pellerano and Eduardo Dibos were the best from the rotary club, while Bob Leitzinger and son Butch were eying the class win. Three Porsche 911s, driven by Jay Kjoller-Joe Cogbill, Jack Lewis-Bill Ferran and Peter Uria-Charles Slater, would try to do their best at not losing too much ground on the pacesetters. The race, as expected, was very mild, with the Porsche 962C driven by John Winter-Manuel Reuter leading all the way. The Nissan NPT90 driven by Gianpiero Moretti-Derek Bell managed to settle for second place, but blew its engine after twenty five laps. John Paul Jr, who could have challenged the winners, was delayed by a flat tire and a nosepiece. Wayne Taylor retired early in the race with engine problems. The GTS cars were next, with Scott Pruett leading for the main part of the race, but then he moved over for Paul Gentilozzi, who was chasing points. Tom Kendall finished third. The Lights class produced no surprise, as Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin won again over Bob Schader and Bob Earl in a quite similar car.
Copyright Mark Windecker
Charles Morgan had a great race and won the GTO class in his Oldsmobile Cutlass, with Joe Pezza taking second. Bill Auberlen won the GTU class, one lap ahead of Bob and Butch Leitzinger, in their Nissan 240SX. The Invitational GT class was won by Andy Pilgrim and John Heinricy over their teammates, while Jay Cochran and Davy Jones powered their Jaguar XJ220 to a tenth place overall, in what looked like a demonstration. But what a poor race! Only 10000 spectators did attend this race, and it would be withdrawn from the schedule for the next season.
Copyright Mark Windecker
Laguna Seca was the next venue, and we were back to a low figure field of fifteen cars. Back to business were the two Eagle Toyota MKIIIs, driven by Juan Fangio II and PJ Jones. Momo Corse was also back, with Massimo Sigala and Derek Bell at the wheel of the Nissan NPT90. A new(!) contender was to be recorded, in the name of the sleek Allard J2X, driven by Robs Lamplough. The car was fresh out of the box, and could not do miracles, but it was an attraction nonetheless. Wayne Taylor had some reasonable hopes for this race, had the Toyotas any trouble during the race. Price Cobb was at the wheel of the Spice SE90P Chevrolet owned by David Tennyson. The only Porsche entered was the Gunnar 966 driven by John Paul Jr and Charles Slater. That was all for the GTP class. The Lights class was six cars rich. It was made of the core runners, who were the two Spice SE91P Acuras, which would probably dominate the field. Jim Downing and Tim McAdam were the best challengers, with their Kudzu DG2 Buick. Michael Sheehan ran solo the Mazda powered Kudzu DG1, while Miroslav Jonak, from Canada, was co-driven by Dick Sasser in his old Spice Ford. Ed de Long was partnered by Neil Jamieson in his Tiga GT287 Buick. François Migault and Tom Hessert co-drove the Kudzu DG2 Buick, and they would be opposed the Pegasus BMW driven by Oliver Kuttner. Juan Fangio II was faster than his teammate, but he did not manage to keep ahead of him until the finish, as he experienced mechanical problems in the closing laps. PJ Jones earned his second victory in the season. Price Cobb had a great race, and he finished third, just ahead of the Nissan. Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin again took the class win, and it was a new class title for Parker Johnstone. Bob Earl and Bob Schader took second, with Miroslav Jonak and Dick Sasser taking third. Oliver Kuttner took the WSC win, as he had retired later than François Migault and Tom Hessert. The next race, at Portland, would be no different, with virtually the same field as Laguna Seca. Two Eagle Toyotas facing one Spice SE90P Chevrolet, this time driven by David Tennyson, a Nissan NPT90 driven by Gianpiero Moretti and Derek Bell. Wayne Taylor still ran his Chevrolet GTP while John Paul Jr and Charles Slater would have fun running the open cockpit Porsche 966. No change was also to be recorded in the Lights class, with Bob Earl and Bob Schader trying to defeat the Comptech drivers, and Jim Downing and Tim McAdam facing some reliability problems. Neil Jamieson and Jeff Lapcevich were at the wheel of the Mac Tools Tiga GT287 Buick. The WSC class was somewhat gaining momentum, with four cars entered.
François Migault and Andy Evans faced a new contender, in the name of the LR Dodge driven by Cliff Rassweiler. This radical car added more diversity in a field already populated with cars such as the Mantac Chevrolet driven by Cass Whitehead and the Pegasus BMW driven by Oliver Kuttner. The race was still to be all Toyota, with Juan Fangio II edging PJ Jones by a mere second in one of the closest race of the season. David Tennyson was third, still ahead of the Nissan NPT90 driven by Gianpiero Moretti and Derek Bell. Interestingly, Bob Earl and Bob Schader earned another class win at Portland, four laps ahead of Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin. The WSC class went to François Migault and Andy Evans, in the Kudzu DG2 Buick.
The season finale was to take place in Phoenix, on a speedway-infield type course. It was historically the very last race of the GTP era. The field was somewhat twenty per cent bigger and reached a nineteen car figure. AAR was not to be challenged, but Joest Racing was willing to attend this very last IMSA race. Juan Fangio II and PJ Jones would be opposed to Bob Wollek and John Winter in one car, while Manuel Reuter ran the other one. Derek Bell and Gianpiero Moretti were still to race the Nissan, as well as Wayne Taylor, in his Chevrolet GTP, and John Paul Jr in the Porsche 966. The Lights class featured two Comptech Spice SE91P Acuras, driven by Parker Johnstone and Ruggero Melgrati, as well as the Motorola Spice AK93 driven by Bob Schader and Price Cobb. Jim Downing and Tim McAdam drove the Kudzu DG3 Mazda. Mike Sheehan and Michael Dow still ran their Kudzu DG1 Mazda, and the two remaining cars were the Spice Ford driven by Miroslav Jonak and Dick Sasser and the Tiga GT287 Buick driven by Neil Jamieson and Jeff Lapcevich. The WSC class saw Andy Evans team up with Firmin Velez. The good news was the fact that another Kudzu DG2 Buick was apt at challenging them. Jim Pace and Butch Hamlet would drive it. A brand new Huffaker Buick was another welcome addition. David Rocha was the driver. James Lee was at the wheel of the LR Dodge while Firmin Velez was also reported to drive the Alba Ford, another modified Lights car. Once again, the race belonged to Toyota, with another win for PJ Jones, who had a strong season end. He edged Juan Fangio in the race, but lost the title to him. They raced door to door for most of the race. Manuel Reuter was third, with Gianpiero Moretti and Derek Bell finally fourth. The Lights class was somewhat different, with the two Comptech Spice Acuras out of the race before the chequered. It gave Bob Schader and Price Cobb another victory over Jim Downing and Tim McAdam in their Kudzu DG3 Mazda. The WSC class again went to Andy Evans and Firmin Velez, who were four laps ahead of Jim Pace and Butch Hamlet, in a similar car. This victory did not bring any point, but only prize money. The season was over, and the GTP era had come to an end. (to the epilogue.)