Seasoned NASCAR driver and one of US racing’s most colourful characters, Boris Said, is set to race on the streets of Surfer’s Paradise in the VIP Petfoods Commodore at the Armor All Gold Coast 600, October 21-23.
On American Independence Day and just days after V8 Supercars announced they would be racing in Texas for the first time in 2013, the confirmation of Said is perfect timing to continue the hype and momentum of V8 Supercars in the North American market.
Said will resume his partnership with Paul Morris Motorsport, a relationship developed during his time at Bathurst and Phillip Island in 2008, and will co-drive with Steve Owen.
Said is a widely popular road-course racer with a strong, loyal fan base that has become known affectionately as “Said Heads.” This group goes to tracks wearing Said-inspired wigs based on his wild and wooly curly hair.
Owen heads into the event with a solid track record after winning last year’s Sunday Gold Coast race with Team Vodafone’s Jamie Whincup.
V8 Supercars announced on Friday they will race in North America for the first time at a new Formula One-inspired facility in Austin Texas from 2013 for a minimum of five years.
Said joins this year’s Indy 500 pole sitter Alex Tagliani, fellow European stars Andy Priaulx, Marc Lieb and Dirk Müller and US gun Joey Hand to be confirmed in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 field with the remaining 22 drivers being announced in coming weeks.
A world-class field of 18 internationals took to the track as co-drivers with regular V8 Supercar drivers last year – the number increases to 28 this year with every Supercar including an international star.
The international stars will team-up with home-grown Australian talent such as Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, James Courtney, Steve Johnson, Jason Bright, Will Davison, Russell Ingall, Garth Tander and Rick Kelly.
This year’s event will not only include some of the biggest names in world motorsport, but also from the world of entertainment with the event’s Rock and Race format to continue with nightly concerts at the Broadwater Parklands entertainment precinct.
“I’m really excited by the opportunity to come to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in October and race the V8 Supercar again,” said Said.
“It’s been a while since I’ve driven one of these Aussie V8s and this will be my first trip to the Surfers Paradise Street circuit, but I’m looking forward to racing against some of the best drivers in the world.
“I have to thank Paul [Morris] and his VIP Petfoods team for giving me the opportunity to race over on the Gold Coast in October, I don’t want to go out there and wreck their car but I’m going to give it a good run and hopefully give his team something to smile over.
“I hear the Gold Coast is a little like my home state of California so I’m hoping that will give me an advantage when it comes to race day.
“Ever since I got to race in the V8 series a few years ago at Bathurst and Philip island I have been dreaming about coming back, the V8 Supercar makes NASCAR seem tame!”
Said has become a staple in the NASCAR series not only as a competitor, but as a ‘teacher’ of sorts, coaching more than 32 NASCAR drivers on road courses drawing on his vast experiences and knowledge.
The 2005 Nurburgring 24 hour winner and 1998 Sebring 12-hour winner is also a respected businessman with several business interests including a BMW dealership.
“Boris Said is already a member of the V8 community in some respects and we could not be more excited to show him what the Armor All Gold Coast 600 has to offer,” said Queensland Minister for Sport, Phil Reeves.
“Boris is a larger than life character and will bring an energy that will be a perfect fit for the event and an exciting place like Queensland.”
Said finished 19th in the Philip Island race with Matt Neal in 2008 and then failed to finish the Bathurst event after an incident while Neal was in the car.
More international driver announcements are expected in coming days with the official event launch set for later this month.
BORIS SAID – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Born: September 18, 1962
Place: New York
Lives: Carlsbad, California
Current Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup
Current Team: Carson Racing
V8 Supercar Team for the Gold Coast: Paul Morris Motorsport – VIP Petfoods Racing
• 1997 and 1998 Daytona 24 hour winner
• 1998 12 Hour of Sebring winner
• 2005 24 Hour of Nurburgring winner
• Is the son of Bob Said, Formula One racer and Olympic Bobsled racer for the United States
• Has competed in V8 Supercars before, racing with Paul Morris Motorsports (with whom he will pair for the 2011 Armor All Gold Coast 600) at 2008’s Bathurst and Phillip Island endurance events.
• Currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Boris Said is an internationally recognised veteran racecar driver. Starting with his professional racing debut at the 1985 Detroit Grand Prix, Said quickly became recognised as a top road-course racer.
In 1991, he earned international accolades competing in the SCCA World Challenge. Said made his NASCAR debut in 1995 competing in the Craftsman Truck Series. In both 1996 and 1997 he took first place in the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race, winning the Sears Point International race in 1996 as well.
In his career, Said has raced for leading NASCAR teams such as Hendricks, Rousch, Baer, and Evernham. He has consistently achieved pole positions and top-ten finishes over the last decade – specialising in road course events.
In 2010, Said won the Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal. He currently serves as mentor and road-course trainer to more than 30 NASCAR drivers. Said is a widely popular road-course racer with a strong, loyal fan base that have become known affectionately as “Said Heads.” In late October of 2010, Said signed with Carson Racing as our professional NASCAR driver for the 2011 season, during which he will also compete with Steve Owen in the 2011 Armor All Gold Coast 600.