Max Root is one of the up-and-coming stars produced by the Porsche single-make ladder system and is driving for Wright Motorsports in GT World Challenge America powered by AWS this season alongside Fred Poordad.
This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, the GTWC America rookie discusses the start to his season at Circuit of The Americas, how he is spending his down time, his college studies, and more.
How would you assess you debut weekend in GTWC America at COTA in March?
“I think stepping into the GT3 field for the first weekend, there were a lot of things that were going to be new to my co-driver and I. With no real testing going in there, I think we managed to do a pretty decent job.
“Obviously, his accident in qualifying didn’t set us up with a very square car to race with for the rest of the weekend, but I think given everything, I was happy with it.
“It was definitely good to shake some cobwebs off with the team and get re-oiled up again. It really felt like a well-oiled machine after we went through everything that could go wrong.”
How did you get hooked up with your co-driver Fred Poordad?
“He actually asked me about it at the end of last year. We were testing at Laguna and I was helping him with some data. It was his idea. He said: what if we went and did this? I was on board right away.
“When you have an opportunity to drive a GT3 car, you take it and run with it. He’s a really great teammate and an intelligent guy. He’s easy to talk to, easy to communicate with, and when we go in for our data sessions, it’s a breeze.”
What is the significance of being back with Wright Motorsports after racing with them earlier in your career?
“The experience I had with them in Porsche GT3 Cup competition really cued up the GT3 program.
“Working with my engineer Bobby Viglione and John Wright himself, they have such an amazing program that they run, to be able to take guys through the ranks and also to grow and mature friendships and relationship as they go along.
“I’m really blessed to be back with them this year. We had some good success last year, and minus a few things at COTA, we’re looking to build the momentum.”
What have you been doing to stay busy during the break between races?
“I’m a full-time student at Pepperdine University in Malibu, but we were all moved off campus and away so I’m back in San Diego right now doing online classes.
“I just finished building a simulator actually, which has been a major target, and I just participated in my first sim race last night in a Miata, and was able to clinch the win. It was an exciting 25 minutes!
“I’ve been keeping my training up as well. One thing that’s been nice is it’s 75 degrees with the sun shining here in San Diego, so being on the bike and lifting some weights is a good activity as well.”
What are you studying at Pepperdine?
“Business administration. I think it’s the Swiss army knife of degrees. Regardless of what I want to do long term, I think it provides me with the skills and the platform I need to go and attack whatever I want to do.”