The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has inducted its inaugural class of members into its Hall of Fame, a prestigious honor recognizing individuals who have made monumental contributions to the sport.
The esteemed list of honorees comprises an array of individuals who have made noteworthy achievements in motor racing, from drivers and team owners to industry leaders and innovators. The inaugural Hall of Fame class consists of Dr. Don Panoz, Bob Akin, Reinhold Joest, Hurley Haywood, and Scott Pruett.
Dr. Don Panoz is a pioneering entrepreneur who has been integral to the success of the IMSA series throughout its history. He is credited with reviving the sports car racing industry in the United States through his involvement in the American Le Mans Series, a top-level series of races established in 1999.
Bob Akin was an iconic driver and team owner in the IMSA series. He won the IMSA GTP championship in 1983 and also earned nine 24 Hours of Daytona victories. Akin was known for his trademark blue-and-white livery, which became synonymous with his racing career.
Reinhold Joest is a renowned team owner and manager who has won the 24 Hours of Daytona a record 16 times. Joest’s teams have also won multiple IMSA GTP championships, and he was instrumental in the development of the Porsche 962.
Hurley Haywood is a five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona and three-time winner of the 12 Hours of Sebring. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest endurance racers of all time and was a driving force behind the success of the Porsche 917.
Scott Pruett is a decorated driver who has won the 24 Hours of Daytona five times and the 12 Hours of Sebring three times. He is also a three-time IMSA GTP champion and the all-time leader in IMSA victories with 60.
The inaugural class of the IMSA Hall of Fame is a remarkable group of individuals who have left an indelible mark on the sport of motor racing. Their achievements have been integral to the growth and success of the IMSA series and will be remembered for years to come.