Could 61-year-old stock car racing veteran Boris Said find himself on an LMGT3 FIA WEC world tour in 2024 with Ford Performance?
Said, who is categorised as a Bronze driver, was present on Tuesday at the ongoing two-day Goodyear LMGT3 tire test in Portimao, Portugal with Proton Competition.
Said was spotted by RACER in full Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series overalls awaiting his turn at the wheel of Proton Competition’s No. 77 Ford Mustang GT3.
Speaking to RACER, Said relayed that this opportunity came together on extremely short notice.
“I was coming through an airport with my family a few days ago, when my phone rang with a Detroit number that I didn’t recognize,” he said. “I thought I’d better take the call, and I am glad I did. It was Jim Farley, (the CEO of Ford Motor Company), asking whether or not I was available for this test.
Image by Tim Creswick
“Of course, I said: ‘yes’. However, I will admit that I am a bit shocked to be here. I can’t wait to properly try out this car. I have never raced here before. So the only track time I have had was taking my rental car around before the track officially opened yesterday morning.”
In addition to his career spent on the NASCAR circuit, Said has a wealth of previous sportscar and GT racing to draw from. His last notable stint was a four-race program with SunEnergy1 Racing in IMSA’s GTD class in 2017.
Said ran his first laps at the very end of the session on Tuesday and emerged with a smile, but kept his feedback for the Proton/Ford Performance and Multimatic technicians. He is one of a number of pro and amateur drivers sampling the new Mustang as Ford and Proton’s 2024 FIA WEC plans come together.
Should he drive with Proton next season, Said would return to Le Mans as a driver for the first time in 30 years. His one and only Le Mans start came in 1994 as part of Callaway’s Corvette effort in GT2. That will better the current record of a 21-year gap between starts, currently held Jean Alesi (1989 – 2010).
Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus and McLaren are all present in Portimao in addition to Ford, testing new-for-2024 Goodyear LMGT3 rubber.