The man credited with creating the US Road Racing Championship, Can-Am, Trans-Am and Formula 5000 race series, John Bishop, has died. He was 87.
Among his many achievements was founding the International Motor Sports Association in 1969 in partnership with Bill France and NASCAR, as well as serving as executive director of the Sports Car Club of America and is credited with bringing endurance GT racing to the United States. He also served as a commissioner of NASCAR and became the first commissioner for the Grand-American Road Racing Association.
In later life, Bishop was also a co-founder of the International Motor Racing Research Centre at Watkins Glen.
The centre's purpose is to serve as a repository of motor sport information from every race series and every race track in the world, and was dedicated to Bishop in acknowledgement of the massive role he played in its implementation.
Lifelong friend and centre president, JC Argetsinger, said: "John was a giant of the sport. His achievements as a leader and innovator are unsurpassed, but he will also be warmly remembered in the hearts of drivers and entrants at all levels for his genuine interest in their welfare.
"I am deeply saddened by his death. I'm also humbled that John and Peggy's son, Mitch, and their four lovely granddaughters chose the IMRRA as the beneficiary of memorials in John's honor."
Bishop served as the IMRRA Council's chairman from 1999, when the centre was built, until 2004, remaining an active Council member and chairman emeritus until his death. He will be posthumously inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in August.