COTA Starting Grids Set: Boris Said Wins TA Pole, Thomas Merrill to Lead TA2 to Green

November 5, 2022

COTA Starting Grids Set: Boris Said Wins TA Pole, Thomas Merrill to Lead TA2 to Green

Greg Tolson Wins TA2 Western Pole, Adam Andretti Fast in TAH, Marc Austin Best in XGT,
Greg Anthony Fastest in SGT,
Chris Coffey Tops GT

AUSTIN, Texas (November 5, 2022) - Qualifying is complete and the starting grids are set for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s final two races of the season at the Mission Foods Austin SpeedTour at Circuit of The Americas.

Boris Said in the No. 2 Accio Data/Technique Chassis/STEEL-IT/Weaver Dodge Challenger earned the Motul Pole Award for tomorrow’s TA race, scoring his Weaver team its third pole of the 2022 season. His lap time of 2:04.277 is a new track record.

“The weekend’s been really good so far,” expressed Said. “I love these cars. 36 years in racing, and these are the most fun cars I’ve ever driven to date. We’ve got a first-time sponsor, a local sponsor, Accio Data on our car, so it’s good to get the pole for them. If I don’t get the win, I really want to dedicate this to Denny Lamers, who passed away last week. He was a great guy in Trans Am, a stalwart of the Northeast and Road America, and just a great, great competitor and nice guy. He’ll be missed, so this pole is definitely for him.”

Matthew Brabham in the No. 20 Concord American Flagpole Ford Mustang was just behind Said with a time of 2:04.362, and Chris Dyson in the No. 16 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang was third with a time of 2:04.913. Gustavo Ortega in the No. 17 Chocron Racing Team Corvette was fourth with a time of 2:06.110, and Tomy Drissi in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Ford Mustang was fifth with a 2:06.361.

Thomas Merrill in the No. 26 BridgeHaul/HP Tuners Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang earned his third Motul Pole Award of the season with a record time of 2:10.379, and captured three valuable points towards the championship.

“This last race for us is about scrounging for every last point we can,” said Merrill after earning the pole. “We’ve got a mountain to climb in order to win this [championship], so getting on the pole is the first step. The next step is winning the race and then hoping for the best. I never like to wish bad luck on anybody, but that’s really what we need to seal the deal. But I’m not even really thinking about that too much, I just want to end the year on a high note. We had a rough start to the year, and I want to start next year on the right foot with some good vibes, and I know a win here will do that.”

Points leader Rafa Matos in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Mustang was second fastest with a 2:10.563, with two points going towards the standings. Connor Zilisch in the No. 5 Silver Hare Racing Camaro was third with a 2:11.069, followed by Evan Slater in the No. 35 CUBE 3 Architecture Ford Mustang with a time of 2:11.467. Cameron Lawrence in the No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Camaro rounded out the top five with a 2:11.876.

Greg Tolson earned the TA2 Western Championship pole in his No. 80 Nitro Motorsports/GT Auto Lounge Mustang with a 2:14.462.

“This weekend has been great so far and I’m excited to get the pole,” said Tolson. “I’m driving for Nitro Motorsports, which has a great crew. They got the car set up really well. We had a short session; we only got two laps. But the weekend has been good and we’re getting faster and faster.”

Cody Powell in the No. 76 Titan Construction Services Dodge Challenger was third with a 2:14.878, followed by Ken Sutherland in the No. 68 Cascade Sotheby’s/Wyatt Fire Protection Camaro with a 2:15.920. Points leader Jeff Holden in the No. 11 Lithium/Mid Valley Transmission Camaro was fourth with a time of 2:16.290, and Tim Lynn was fifth in his No. 49 Roof Options Camaro with a time of 2:16.942.

Adam Andretti in the No. 4 Ultimate Headers Ford Mustang was sixth overall and the fastest TAH entry with a time of 2:07.624.

Marc Austin in the No. 11 MAD Race Sim Lab Mercedes AMG GT3 was the fastest in the XGT class with a time of 2:11.516, followed by Western Championship competitor Matt Crandall in the No. 142 Avant Garde Collection Camaro with a 2:12.128. Danny Lowry was third fastest in the No. 42 BridgeHaul/Bennett International/ Mercedes AMG with a time of 2:13.455, and Western Championship’s Chris Evans in the No. 92 Chris Evans Inc. Ford Mustang was fourth in class with a 2:15.349. Western competitor Howard Johnston in the No. 32 IWS Acquisition Group Ford Mustang was fifth with a 2:27.945.

Greg Anthony from the Western Championship in the No. 123 Prime Roofing BMW M3 was fastest in the SGT class with a 2:17.908, with Western competitor Michael LaPaglia in the No. 31 Papini’s/Johnson Tuning/FAST Ford Mustang FP350P behind him with a 2:18.371. Dirk Leuenberger in the No. 35 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper was next with a 2:18.517. Carey Grant was fourth in his No. 6 Grant Racing 2 Porsche GT3 Cup with a 2:20.714, followed by his father Milton Grant in his No. 55 Sentry Self Storage/Springhill Suites Porsche 991.1 with a 2:22.484.

Chris Coffey in the No. 97 Traffic Grafix/Deft Motion/PR2 Racing Maserati MC GT4 topped the GT class with a time of 2:17.813, followed by Western Championship driver Xuanqian Wang in the No. 122 AURALIC North America McLaren 570S GT4 with a time of 2:18.000. Billy Griffin in the No. 14 Griffin Auto Car/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang was third with a lap time of 2:18.718, and Jacob Deily was fourth in the No. 70 Hyundai Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR with a time of 2:19.555. Joey DaSilva in the No. 67 Ave Motorsports Toyota Supra was fifth with 2:21.054.

Full TA/XGT/SGT/GT qualifying results can be found here.

Full TA2 qualifying results can be found here.

The TA/XGT/SGT/GT race will be contested Sunday, November 6 at 9:30 a.m. CT, followed by the TA2 race at 11:45 a.m. Both events will be streamed live here.

The races will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. TA/XGT/SGT/GT will be broadcast on November 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation later that night at 12:00 a.m. ET. TA2 will first air on Sunday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation later that evening at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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