Boris Said On Pole For Watkins Glen Trans Am
September 7, 2018
Mark Boden and Warren Dexter set fast times in TA3, TA4 in advance of multi-class competition
WATKINS GLEN, NY. [September 7, 2018] – Boris Said captured pole in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli for tomorrow’s Watkins Glen Trans Am 100 at Watkins Glen International, Round 8 of the 2018 Trans Am Championship. Also capturing poles for the TA3 and TA4 classes in today’s qualifying sessions were Mark Boden and Warren Dexter.
For Boris Said, the Watkins Glen pole is the tenth of his career and comes by way of a new qualifying track record 1:46.726 lap around the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Grand Prix course and will see him start at the front of the 17-car TA class field in the No. 21 Monster Energy/ Weaver Concepts Dodge Challenger for his 71st career series start.
Said made his return to the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli earlier this year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his first appearance in Trans Am since 2010. Now with three rounds of racing with the Weaver Racing team, a Mid-Ohio podium and a Road America victory just weeks ago, Said’s return to Trans Am just keeps getting better and better at a track that’s very special to him: the legendary Watkins Glen.
“Pancho Weaver builds a great car,” said Said. “This frigging thing is just so fast. To set pole at this track, which has been so special to me over the years with NASCAR, winning Six Hour races here— this is my home track, my favorite anywhere in the world and I’ve been everywhere in the world. So it feels really good to get a pole here. Hopefully I can cap it off with a nice clean sweep and a good race on Saturday. I’m really happy for Monster Energy; they’ve done so much for this sport and so much for me. They’re an iconic American brand that supports all the sports I love watching on TV, from motorcycle racing, car racing and X Games, it’s great to bring them a pole.”
Said feels the Watkins Glen circuit brings out the best in him, still giving a veteran been-there-won-that racer like Said a spike of adrenaline after a career full of memorable Watkins Glen races.
‘This track: you have to be so aggressive on it,” said Said. “It’s just so fast. I was just telling my crew: you have an adrenaline shake in your hands after you qualify here. It was the same in Cup and the same in Trans Am; you really have to put it all on the line to get a good lap here and it feels amazing.”
Starting alongside Said on the TA class grid will be current points leader and defending champion Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang, turning a 1:47.174 lap, just edging the 1:47.193 of Road America pole sitter Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 2 Pennzoil/ ETE/ GoShare Chevrolet Camaro, who will start third.
Also qualifying in the TA class top five were two natives of New York State: Paul Fix, in the No. 4 StopFlex/ Ave Racing Ford Mustang, and Chris Dyson, in the No. 20 Plaid Enterprises/ CD Racing Ford Mustang, with times of 1:47.281 and 1:47.762, respectively.
Capturing his fifth career TA3 pole was 2017 class champion Mark Boden, in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, his first career Watkins Glen pole as he chases a repeat of his TA3 2017 victory here.
Like Said, Boden’s lap was also completed at a qualifying track record pace, turning a 1:54.212, a second faster than Don McMillon, who will start second in class. With last year’s pole sitter Cindi Lux sidelined with mechanical issues and last year’s victor Tim Kezman absent, Boden will be primarily tasked with keeping the rest of the 10-car field at bay and navigating the traffic of a multi-class field—a task he feels the No. 46 Porsche is more than ready for.
“It’s good to be here,” said Boden. “I’m missing my buddy Tim (Kezman), and I wish Cindi was running—she’s a great racer and it’s too bad they’ve had some issues. The Fall-Line Porsche is great, thanks to Chris and Nathan and the guys at Fall-Line for a great car.”
“I love Watkins Glen," continued Boden. "It’s a great track, it’s flowing, it’s high speed, it takes a lot of commitment and discipline at the same time. It’s challenging to drivers. It’s a very good Porsche track. While I think it’s good for horsepower cars like the Vipers, as Cindi showed last year, the No. 46 is really hooked up and we showed that today.”
McMillon’s time of 1:55.325 was strong enough for the second starting position in his third Trans Am appearance, and handily so; Marko Radisic, in the No. 11 Precision Driving BMW M4 GT4, qualified third at a pace of 1:57.083.
Current points leader Alline Cipriani, in the No. 60 Ginetta USA Ginetta G55, and Boden’s Fall-Line compatriot Tom Herb, in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3, completed the TA3 top five with times of 1:57.202 and 1:57.255.
In TA4, points leader Warren Dexter, in the No. 61 Joe’s Hand Cleaner/ Dexter Racing Ginetta G55, captured his fifth consecutive pole via a 1:52.212 lap, also a class qualifying track record.
Bill Baten, in the No. 61 Priority Communications/ Van Winkle Chevrolet Camaro, will start alongside Dexter after a 2:00.020 effort, while 2017 TA4 rookie of the year Steven Davison, in the No. 22 DAVinci Plastic Surgery/ Aston Martin Washington Aston Martin GT4, completed the class top three with a time of 2:01.029.
The Watkins Glen Trans Am 100 will take place at 11:00 AM EDT and will run for a total of 30 laps, 102 miles around the WGI Grand Prix course. Trans Am’s TA2 class is also in attendance and will hold qualifying sessions tomorrow for their Watkins Glen Muscle Car Challenge, a race of identical length Sunday September 9 at 11:10 AM EDT.
Both Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli races at Watkins Glen International will feature in a weekend recap show on CBS Sports Network, Sunday September 23 at 2:00 PM ET.
Fans can keep up with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli throughout the event at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
Trans Am Event Schedule:
Saturday September 8, 2018
10:35 AM – 10:55 AM TA2 Practice
11:00 AM – 12:15 PM TA, TA3 and TA4 Race
4:45 PM – 5:05 PM TA2 Qualifying
Sunday September 9, 2018
11:10 AM – 12:25 PM TA2 Race Powered by AEM
all times Eastern Daylight
Trans Am’s races at Watkins Glen will be broadcast, tape delayed, on CBS Sports Network:
Watkins Glen International Trans Am Recap – September 23, 2:00 PM ET
Live Timing: All on-track sessions can be followed at www.gotransam.com and on the Race Monitor app available on Windows, Android, iOS and OSX.
Text Commentary: Updates provided throughout sessions on Twitter at @gotransam.