Q&A with IMSA President John Doonan ahead of Road America race weekend

John Doonan, then Mazda Motorsports director, celebrates his team's IMSA victory at Road America in 2019, shortly before becoming president of IMSA.

John Doonan visited Road America for the first time when he was 6 weeks old and his father, a grassroots sports car racer, was competing in the June Sprints a couple of hours north of their suburban Chicago home.

For so many years Doonan played with his Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars there that he jokes he still has Elkhart Lake dirt under his fingernails.

When he was 9 years old, he saw his first IMSA sports car race at the track, the Pabst 500, won by the BMW 320i Turbo shared by David Hobbs and Derek Bell.

So yes, this weekend is bigger than most on the calendar for Doonan, as the organization he now runs will race at the track he calls home, where every IMSA weekend is an unofficial reunion of family and friends.

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