- Carlin Sanderson
Poordad Headlines Wright Motorsport's Drive to Victory at VIR
Known for it’s rolling hills, fast elevation changes and unpredictable weather, VIRginia International Raceway always provides a show and Rounds 11 and 12 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge were no exception. Wright Motorsports was back in winning form as a breakthrough Platinum Masters victory for Fred Poordad highlighted a bittersweet weekend for their four Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
It was a big weekend for Fred Poordad, who rolled out of Virginia with a win and second place. Through a combination of speed and heads up driving, Poordad was able to pick up what was his first IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge victory since winning at Watkins Glen International in 2016.
“First of all, I want to thank Wright Motorsports and my chief and engineers for putting the car together,” said Poordad. “The car was awesome. It was only on me to screw it up, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t do that. The race pace was pretty quick, a lot of good competition."
“It’s taken me more than half the season to finally feel like I’m back in the groove after taking a year off from this sport. I felt pretty good out there today and hopefully I can build on this. It was a really exciting race. It’s a great racetrack, I love racing here, and I’ve got to be honest, I’m glad it didn’t rain.”
Adapting and overcoming was the phrase of the weekend for Platinum Masters championship leader, Charlie Luck. After facing a string of poor luck outside of his control in both races, the Virginia native closed out his first weekend of the season without a podium. With the bad luck out of the way, Luck hopes to retaliate at Sonoma Raceway,
It was another strong showing for Max Root, as the young Californian left the weekend with another second place finish and heaps of momentum. In race one, Root was able to maintain what was his best starting position of the season and seal a second place finish - along with a second place qualifying position for Race 2. At the start of race two, Root jumped around Robichon for the lead, proving he was one to contend with. From there, he held onto the lead for the greater potion of the race when his tires began to wear, sending him down the line.
“I had a rough start in Race 1, but was able to put down a lot of consistence laps and came out with a nice podium finish," said Root. "I was really happy with my start on Sunday’s race. I managed to get around Zach [Robichon] and held the lead for a good chunk of the race. We had a bit of an issue under breaking into turn 14, which caused the car to loose a lot of grip so towards the end I was just fighting the car. I’m excited to get back to it at Sonoma.”
Wright Motorsports will rejoin the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA competition for the penultimate round of the season, at Sonoma Raceway on Sept. 14-16.