Said and Hainer Give Nissan Its Second Straight Grand-Am Cup Win in Â¡El Combate de Velocidad! Haskell and Tremblay Take Third Win of Season in ST MIAMI (September 18, 2004) -- After getting its first-ever triumph in the Grand-Am Cup Series...
Said and Hainer Give Nissan Its Second Straight Grand-Am Cup Win in ¡El
Combate de Velocidad!
Haskell and Tremblay Take Third Win of Season in ST
MIAMI (September 18, 2004) -- After getting its first-ever triumph in the Grand-Am Cup Series in the last race at Mid-Ohio, the Nissan 350Z got its second consecutive trip to victory lane courtesy of Boris Said, Anders Hainer and the No. 13 Unitech Racing team in Saturday's ¡El Combate de Velocidad! at Homestead-Miami Speedway (SPEED Channel, 10 p.m. ET).
Under hot and muggy conditions, Said claimed the lead for the final time from Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 19 Race Prep Motorsports Porsche 996 on Lap 76 and led the rest of the way to take an 8.439-second win over the No. 88 Fiorano Racing Porsche 996. It was also the second-consecutive win for the No. 13 Unitech machine, albeit with completely different drivers, as Kelly Collins and Blake Rosser drove the car at Mid-Ohio.
"I'm pretty hot," Said remarked. "I didn't expect to be in there for two hours and 20 minutes. It was great. The car was great, it was fun. I just drove the fastest I could. When it rained, it was a lot of fun because it was slippery. I was hoping it would keep on raining."
"It was a really great car," Hainer added. "Driving with this guy (Said), it makes it really easy. I just kept it clean. That was the most important thing. It is a great car, great team and I had a lot of fun."
While Said and Hainer charged from 22nd on the starting grid, it was an even steeper climb to the front for the No. 88 drivers Frank Rossi and Barry Ellis. Because the car hadn't started a Grand-Am Cup Series race this season prior to today, the No. 88 was forced to start from the rear of the Grand Sport (GS) class grid (31st position) owing to the officials' decision to set the grid on championship points following last week's hurricane postponement. Nevertheless, Rossi and Ellis methodically worked their way toward the front.
Finishing third was Jep Thornton and Eric VanCleef in the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3. It was Thornton's best finish of the season and was VanCleef's first Grand-Am Cup Series start of the year. Thornton's regular co-driver, David Russell, did not compete in the race as he was with his wife, who was having the couple's first child.
The No. 33 Unitech Racing Nissan 350Z of Mike Cronin Jr. and Stu Hayner finished fourth, and Mike Keravich III and Owen Trinkler finished fifth in the No. 7 Power Racing Team in BMW M3.
In the Sport Touring division, local favorites David Haskell of Plantation, Fla. and Sylvain Tremblay of Coral Springs earned their second straight class victory in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8. It was also the third win of the season for the No. 70 teammates.
"Everything went pretty well for us," Haskell said. "We have some fast cars in that class. The win wasn't wrapped up until the very last lap. The guys who finished second, third and fourth deserve it just as much as us. We just had a good day, everything went well."
"It's a real credit to MazdaSpeed," Tremblay contributed. "The win has really motivated us. We do the best work under pressure, and this is our home track. There was no qualifying and very little practice, so we had to perform. This is what we're all about. The crew really stepped up."
Finishing second were Eric Curran and Bob Endicott in the No. 27 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S, followed by ST points leaders Don Salama and Will Turner in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. Tim Pappas and Mike Fitzgerald finished fourth in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i, and Chip Herr and Bob Beede rounded out the top five in ST driving the No. 29 Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX-S.
The ¡El Combate de Velocidad! will be televised on a same-day delay this evening at 10 p.m. ET on SPEED Channel. Next up for the Grand-Am Cup Series is the VIR 250 at Virginia International Raceway on the weekend of October 1-3.