A year ago at this time, Fred Poordad was in the early stages of recovery after he was injured in a crash at the Bathurst 12-hour race in Australia.
“I ran a Nissan GT-R at Bathurst in the 12-hour last year, and really didn’t have much time to get into the car before the event,” Poordad recalled on Tuesday at Sebring, where he was testing the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup machine.
“In fact, not at all before the event, just the practice there. So, it was a new car, new track and I’d never been there before.
“I was having a really awesome time and a great run until I had a little mishap coming down the mountain and clipped a wall and went into another one.
“Unfortunately, it left me with some back and neck injuries and I spent six months rehabbing.”
Poordad admitted there were times along the way where he didn’t know if he’d ever return to the cockpit, but there he was on Tuesday, preparing for the upcoming Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season, which opens next month at Sebring.
And beyond just turning laps in the car, the Platinum Cup Masters driver was right on pace with some of the quickest drivers on the racetrack.
“I’m feeling pretty good now,” he said shortly before the start of the day’s second session of the test day. “I wanted to get back in the car to see if the passion and energy were still there. So far, so good. I’m enjoying it. There’s nothing like being in a Porsche.”
Poordad was getting acclimated to the new ABS system that will be used by Platinum Cup Masters drivers this season.
He was skeptical going in, but is optimistic that by adding ABS, it could raise the level of competition throughout the series.
“I was actually one of the guys that was disappointed that we were going to bring ABS onboard, but I think if it makes the series better and makes people more competitive, then I think it’s a good thing overall,” he said.
“I think it’ll take a couple of events to really understand it and change your driving style a little bit. I think it’ll be a positive.
“We’ll see how the young guys who don’t have ABS, what they think of it if some of the old guys are mixing it up with them.”
The Sebring Test is open to the public. There is no admission charge on Wednesday, and admission is $10 per day on Thursday and Friday. Fans who have purchased tickets for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be admitted free.