Fred Poordad is fresh off the back of strong results in the most recent GT World Challenge America powered by AWS round at Sonoma Raceway.
The American is driving for Wright Motorsport alongside Max Root in the team’s No. 20 Porsche 911 GT3 R, which is now classified as a Pro-Am entry after starting the year in the Am class.
As the season passes the halfway mark, Sportscar365 caught up with Poordad for the latest Pirelli Paddock Pass.
How do you feel coming off the back of the second place overall and Am win at Sonoma?
“The weekend at Sonoma was a great one for us. We had some confidence going in after our ill-fated run at VIR, knowing we have good pace at certain tracks.
“It was a great team effort and the pit stop was key to us getting a position. A bit of good luck then got us into second. It takes hard work and a bit of luck here and there for those outcomes.”
You were under pressure until the end from the Ferrari. Take us through how that played out watching your mirrors?
“The Ferrari is a quick car with a couple of strong drivers. We are always aware of where they are. I knew I would get some pressure from behind. Certain corners were better for us and certain parts of the track better for them.
“I knew if I held my line and focused on the deep braking, it would be tough to get by me. I was also aware of the battle going on behind me with another Porsche which led to more rapid tire deg for both of them. That helped me in the end.”
How have you found working with a young driver fresh on the GT3 scene like Max?
“Max is a pro in the making and it’s super cool to be on this part of his journey with him. He is a sponge and gets stronger every event.
“It’s a testament to how well the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series prepares young drivers for the next step. To see him hanging with and pressuring world-class drivers is awesome. I’m super proud of him.”
What are your strengths as a duo and what are the strengths of the Wright Motorsports team?
“The duo of Max and I and how we have advanced this year is only made possible by the Wright Motorsports team. From the team principal to the technical director and data engineer to every person in the crew, and guys in the garage at home base, this team is the epitome of a pro team.
“We are united regardless of how the weekend is going. We have had our share of challenges and the strength of the team is the consistency of performance and attitude regardless of what Lady Luck throws at us.”
With Road America coming up this weekend, what are your prospects for that event?
“Road America is a track we like. Although some of the high horsepower cars may have an advantage over us, we will battle every corner. We will be ready to go when the flag waves.”
How much confidence does it give you to be so well-placed on the overall playing field, having run the season until now as an Am entry?
“We are very happy with how we have performed overall. The success overall is a bit of a pleasant surprise considering the first event for us at COTA was not great.
“We are confident in our team and approach to each race. We are never overconfident, however, because this sport can humble you very quickly!”
Has yours and Max’s recent success adjusted your expectations for the remainder of the season?
“Max and I wanted to have a strong showing in this series. Our only expectation was to improve every week and see where we stack up at the end.
“Regardless of outcomes and podiums, if we perform well and continue to improve, we will have accomplished our mission this season.”