Sebring, Fla. -- Boris Said ( ...
Sebring, Fla. --
(#11 Applied Computer Solutions Ford Mustang
Cobra) led 26 of 27 laps and won the Trans-Am Series 100 in round one of the
BFGoodrich Tires Cup this afternoon at Sebring International Raceway. Said,
who won the pole in record time yesterday, picked up his third Series' win
with the victory.
(#3 Johnson Controls HomeLink Jaguar XKR)
finished second and
(#66 Banner Engineering Chevrolet
Corvette), who passed
@Johnny Miller (#64 Automationdirect Cuttler Hammer Jaguar XKR) on lap 26, finished third.
Said, who was passed by Miller late in lap 11, only relinquished the lead for a few hundred yards before retaking the lead in turn one. "I was slow on the restart (the course had been under caution) and Johnny drafted on the straight," said Said. "Johnny made a good effort in the lead, but I knew I had him."
Gentilozzi, the two-time series champion, picked up his 48th podium finish with the second place finish. Genitlozzi was last on the podium at Laguna Seca in October.
Wilden made his second career appearance on the podium. Wilden managed to pass Miller late in lap 26 and managed to beat Miller to the finish line by less than a car lengh.
G.J. Mennen's suffered heavy damage to the rear end of the #6 Motor check Onyko America Chevrolet Camaro midway through lap 20 to put the course under yellow. Mennen lost his steering and was unable to negotiate through turn 14. His impact with the wall caused damage to not only the car but to the wall as well. Mennen was examined by the Simple Green Rapid Response team.
"I had a great car after we had struggled with the wrong shock package during qualifying," said Gentilozzi. "We didn't know it was going green (lap 27) until we came around the last corner. Those last two laps are real adrenaline laps in a deal like that. After a yellow, anything can happen."
It appeared that the first race of the season would finish under full course yellow, but course workers managed to repair the wall and the field went green immediately.
"I was watching the pace car and keeping my turns warm under the yellow," said Said. "I realized that Paul was not prepared when the pace car lights went out. Paul had a much better car at the end of the race, but I was able to jump ahead on the restart. I have to thank Kenny Wilden for keeping the pressure on Paul. Paul was pushing me at end but not what, I was not going to let him by."
Round Two of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup will be contested on April 8 in Long Beach Calif. The Johnson Controls 100 presented by Simple Green will be part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.