TrackHQ: Letís move on to driving instruction. Can you recall what were the best pieces of driving instruction you ever got? What were some of your ďaha momentsĒ?
Boris Said: The best instruction I ever got was when I told my first instructor that I wanted to be a professional race car driver and he looked at me and said, ĎOSB.í I said, ĎWhat is that? A book or a tape?í He goes, ĎNo, no, Ďother sports beckon.í Trust me. You donít want to give up your day job to do this. You donít really have it.í
It was a pretty mean thing to say, you know, but really it was good advice. And that really made me think about it. Iím not any good. Iíve got to figure out how to get good. I mean, really, itís a game of mistakes. Youíre always learning. You never really have it. Iíve never felt like, ĎOK, Iíve got it now.í I feel like every time I drive, I get better and better and better.
TrackHQ: When you heard that, and you realized you needed to get better or perish, what did you do?
Boris Said: Every time I got in, when I saw someone faster, I asked ĎWhy is he faster. What do I need to do? Do I need to drive in deeper. Do I need to get off the brake?í It really made me look at everything I did closer. A lot of young kids Iíve helped and taught, I hear a lot about, ĎThis carís no good,í or ĎI need a different setup,í but no matter what, as a driver, you can always do a better job.
TrackHQ: When you coach NASCAR drivers for racing on road courses, what points do you try to emphasize?
Boris Said: I really depends. Itís a case-by-case basis. To them itís a different discipline. A lot of them tried drive a road course like an oval. You really have to forget a few things. The basics of a road course are different. Once you teach those guys, most of them get it. Theyíre up top, some of the best drivers in the business over there. Theyíre really, really good drivers.
TrackHQ: Youíve also raced a V8 Supercar, which puts you on the other side of the car. How did you get accustomed to driving on the right-hand side?
Boris Said: That was probably one of the toughest things when you race a track like Bathurst, which is probably one of the toughest tracks in the world. I put it right up there with Nurburgring. Itís not that long, but itís really technical and itís surrounded by cement walls. Thereís absolutely no room for error.
Shifting with your left hand wasnít that bad, but having all that car on the left side of you was really, just different. You donít think about how (accustomed) you are of where the space of the car is, and when you have to drive at ten tenths and run really close to the walls. That was a big learning curve for me over there.
TrackHQ: Will we see you in a V8 Supercar again?
Boris Said: Yep. Iíll be at Surferís Paradise again this year in the same V.I.P. Pet Foods car. They already signed me up, so Iím excited about that.
TrackHQ: Can you describe the racing scene in Australia, and how it differs from or how itís similar to the U.S.?
Boris Said: Itís so similar to NASCAR. Itís like NASCAR, but on road courses in really cool cars. The way they present it, itís their top motorsport over there. The level of competition in that series is second to none in road racing. There isnít a more competitive road race series anywhere in the world. It is amazing how close everybody is and how good they are.
TrackHQ: Can you go into a bit more detail about the Bathurst track, and how would you rate it compared with all the tracks that youíve driven?
Boris Said: Iíd say the toughest track Iíve ever driven is the Nurburgring, and part of that is traffic and weather. Bathurst is only 4.5 miles, but in a 2.5 mile section, youíre going up and down almost 1,200 feet in elevationóin a 2.5 mile stretch. TV does not do that place justice. The first time you go around there, you think, ĎI canít believe theyíre racing down this.í Itís as steep as you can ever walk down and youíre racing down it at 100 mph. Conrad Straightaway in a V8 Supercar youíre going 199 mph into flat-out right hand kink, so itís very fast, and very narrow and very technical. Itís just wild.
TrackHQ: And those are public streets, correct?
Boris Said: Yes, public roads.
TrackHQ: Your father raced F1 back in 1959. How much of an influence was he on your career choice?
Boris Said: Absolutely zero. My dad left when I was 6, so I never saw him till I was about 35. I didnít even know he raced till I started racing, because I have the same name. I learned more about him from racing than I ever knew about him before I started racing.
TrackHQ: I was not aware of that. If these questions are out of bounds, I apologize.
Boris Said: No, no, no, itís no big deal. Itís just the hand I was dealt. Itís funny, the thing I always thought about was he was kind of an accomplished race car driver, and I guess when itís in your genes, it really is in your genes.
TrackHQ: What more would you like to accomplish in racing? What is left on your check list?
Boris Said: I feel pretty fortunate and proud of what Iíve accomplished. Iíve won in NASCAR Trucks and Iíve won in NASCAR Nationwide, but Iíve never won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. I know thatís a big goal and no part-time guy has ever done that, but thatís still something I want to do, and Iím going to keep on trying.
The one thing I wish I could have done, but never got a chance to do was to try a DTM car. I think those are the coolest cars in the world. And now to see Joey Hand, the only American ever to go over there and run full time is great, and I feel really, really proud that he gets to go do that. Hopefully, heís going to kick some ass over there.
But you know when he started his career in GT cars, we were teammates, so itís pretty neat to see him doing that.
TrackHQ: What more would you like to accomplish outside of racing?
Boris Said: I guess my goal outside of racing is to try to be the best car dealer that BMW has ever had, to try to bring service back to America, treat people right and have people say, ĎWow, that was one of the best dealerships Iíve ever been into.í
And Iím really proud of how it looks. It has a big motorsports presence in it, with the way it looks and is decorated, with driver suits and race car pictures all over the place. Hopefully, I can make this successful.
TrackHQ: As I mentioned, I posted a thread asking for members to submit questions they wanted to ask you, so letís move on to those right now.
TrackHQ: Going back to when you were emerging as an amateur standout, what do you remember as being most important when transitioning from club racer to pro racer?
Boris Said: I guess the most important thing is to really not ever get comfortable where youíre at. I always try to get into something faster and more competitive, and then just keep working on your trade, you know, getting better at it, always being really critical about how youíre driving. How could I have gone through that corner better? Was I on the brake too early? Was I on the brake too late? Could I have gotten on the gas earlier? I still think the same way now as I did then.
TrackHQ: What do you think of NASCARís efforts to appeal to other markets outside the US. Will they implement enough changes to be successful? How do you see that working for them in the long run?
Boris Said: I race in Canada in the Montreal race every year and that race is completely packed. Itís as crowded as the F1 race. Do I think itís important for NASCAR to go outside the U.S.? No, because itís like V8 Supercars. Itís huge in Australia, and all the sponsors are from that country. I think NASCAR is America. I think outside of America, people are going to watch because itís entertainment, itís exciting. You never know whoís going to win, you see a lot of crashes. Itís exciting racing. I donít think itís important for NASCAR, personally. I think itís big enough in the states. Itís the biggest form of racing in the United States. I think just making it available outside to other markets, people are going to watch it because it is entertainment.
I think thatís something the ALMS, they have never gotten. The people who run the ALMS just donít understand what their product is and they donít get it, and itís disappointing for somebody like me, a young American who wishes there was more opportunity for other young Americans, and ALMS doesnít offer that. Itís really down to management and how they run their series.
TrackHQ: With regard to driving and racing schools, are they worth the money? If so, which school do you recommend?
Boris Said: I went to the Skip Barber school when I started. Like I said, youíre never too old to learn. If you could, if it were financially feasible, Iíd tell everyone to go to every driving school because I think from all different instructors, anyone you ask, you can always take away something from somebody.
TrackHQ: How many days a year do you spend driving on a track, whether itís practice or competition?
Boris Said: Boy, thatís a good question. Iíd say at least 150.