Boris Said Finishes Third at Grand Prix of Long Beach While Disputing Motorock Trans-Am Series Officiating Long Beach, California (April 18, 2004) -- Former Trans-Am Series Champion, Boris Said, should have been in a three-way shoot-out against...
Boris Said Finishes Third at Grand Prix of Long Beach While Disputing Motorock Trans-Am Series Officiating
Long Beach, California (April 18, 2004) -- Former Trans-Am Series Champion, Boris Said, should have been in a three-way shoot-out against two former Champions, Paul Gentilozzi and Greg Pickett, if it weren't for an errant call by track officials. A yellow flag was thrown on lap 39 for unsafe oil on the track from Tommy Kendall. During the four lap clean-up effort, the cars on the lead lap should have been put in current race order but were not 't, putting Said, currently third, in seventh with slower cars in his way. The green flag came along with the announcement that the race was a timed event and would be just two remaining laps until the checkered flag at the 30th Anniversary Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Said, driving the #33 New Century Mortgage/GE Access Ford Mustang, believes that a chance at back-to-back victories was taken from him. "I race in enough professional series to know that in the last laps of the race, you line up in race order for a restart. What happened here today was uncalled for. I think the stewards fell asleep. We were under yellow for four laps, plenty of time to get realigned. I was yelling at my team on the radio trying to figure out what was taking so long. The team was asking race control to reposition me and got no response. I could not't believe they weren't going to allow me to move up behind Pickett" opined Boris. "Rules are rules."
"During the race, I was taking it easy waiting to charge. Paul made a mistake and I took advantage of it taking the lead but the oil on the track put me into the tires right after that. I wrecked up the front nose pretty bad, but I was able to keep racing. On the restart at the end, I passed a few cars before they threw the white flag. I was turning the faster laps times than Paul at the end. It would be interesting to see what could have happened." Following the race podium festivities, Boris Said spoke with the MotoRock Trans-Am Series Steward regarding his complaint before the official results were posted.
The third place finish keeps alive Said's streak of sixteen podiums in seventeen events. This was his fifth appearance at Long Beach and his sixty-third Trans-Am Series start. The # 33 Ford Mustang featured sponsors for the Long Beach season opener of New Century Mortgage, GE Access, Hitachi Data Systems, Quantum, Crossbeam, Storagetek, Net Apps and Veritas.
A televised replay of Round One at Long Beach will be shown on Sunday, April 25 at 10:00 a.m. on SPIKE TV's Dangerous Curves.