K1 Speed’s Boris Said Roundup from the Rolex 24 hrs of Daytona
The 2011 Grand-Am Series 24 hours of Daytona dropped the green flag on the 49th anniversary of the famed race this past Saturday. K1 Speed partner Boris Said and his teammates in the Turner Motorsport no. 94 Northwest BMW M3 looked to be the team to beat early on. Boris drove the first stint of the 24 hour enduro race, started in 8th in the 48 car GT class field but impressively and sucessfully moved into first place by lap 43.
“The team has learned a lot from last year, and the car on these Continentals is just a lot more consistent through the run,” commented Said after his first stint of the race. “It’s really good. I just saved the tires better. I could watch those guys run their tires out and I just waited – just was really patient on the gas and was able to keep moving up.”
Teammates Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana kept the car up in the front of the pack until 4 hours into the race when a scoring mistake took the lead away from the team. Matt Plumb climbed into the cockpit and going into the 6th hour of the race the car started to see problems. Unfortunately, around 10:15 that night the transmission suffered major damage and they were forced to make an extended pit stop.
“On the lap before, I felt the gearbox stiffen up and then it was just a ‘bang!’ and grinding sound, which turned out to be the parts of the gearbox scraping along the track,” Plumb described.
Once the car returned to the garage, the pit crew was able to inspect the damage more carefully and found that a tooth was completely sheared off on one of the main gears in the transmission. Unfortunately, the team went down 135 laps while the car sat in the garage as the crew fully disassembled and rebuilt the tranny and got the BMW M3 back on track around 2:15am Sunday morning.
The Turner Motorsports drivers would push hard for the rest of the night trying to regain some ground but an extensive caution period caused by early morning fog, kept them in their current position. They finished 17th in the GT class, in a full field of various Porsche 911’s, Mazda RX8’s, and Chevrolet Camaro’s, and 32nd in the 50 car field overall.
Team owner Will Turner noted the positives – “We’re ready to go again. Let’s clean up the car, put some fuel in it and do this one more time. It’d have no problem going the distance. The car and the drivers just ran so well and we’ve learned so much that we are eager to do it all over again,” he stated. “If we could take out the laps that we missed and add up all the rest, we’d be right there fighting for the lead. But it wasn’t to be this time. Nevertheless, the guys are excited to have finished. They’ve all put in such a wonderful effort and it makes me proud. Now we’ll just try to build from here and really try to be a factor in the championship this year.”