Young Indian driver Parth Ghorpade earlier this month returned to competitive racing after a long injury lay-off.
The 21-year-old driver competed in the EuroFormula Open’s fifth round in Spielberg. He joined Italian team DAV Racing driving alongside their regular driver Leonardo Pulcini.
While Pulcini won race one during the weekend, Ghorpade against all odds finished tenth and scored points in his debut race. In race two, he missed on points finishing 12th.
“It feels amazing to get back in a car after almost a year. I was a little nervous if I would be on pace straightaway but that wasn’t an issue after testing,” said Ghorpade to Motorsport.com on his return.
It is never easy for any driver to make a comeback from injury. In Formula 1, it took Felipe Massa quite some time to regain his speed after the horrific incident at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
When asked about the specifics of his injury, the Indian revealed that it was a torn scapula and a damaged rotator cuff.
“It took a while to recover which was frustrating initially but the motivation seeing my friends racing pushed me through the recovery process,” he said.
“The process of recovery was physiotherapy on a daily basis along with some tense therapy and light theraband rehab. It took me eight months to recover fully,” revealing the details of the recovery process.
When a driver is out of action for such a long period, psychologically it does have an impact on drivers according to Ghorpade. But he adds that it is part of being a racer and they are always prepared for it.
“The injury does affect the driver mentally as it is very hard to get back on the groove because you can’t push at the initial stages,” he said when asked how difficult an injury is on a driver mentally.
“We are prepared for injuries but we need to put in a lot of effort in the rehab to get back where we left.”
The Indian will complete the EuroFormula Open 2015 season with the next round in September at Spa-Francorchamps.
Looking ahead for the future, he hopes to compete in either GP3 or FIA European F3 championship.