BRITISH motor racing has lost one of its most promising stars after Sean Edwards, leader of this year’s Porsche Supercup series and son of former Formula One driver Guy Edwards, died in a crash yesterday.
The 26-year-old was taking part in a private event at Queensland Raceway in Australia when a Porsche 996, in which he was a passenger, hit the barriers and burst into flames. He is thought to have died instantly.
Edwards achieved recognition this year as part of the four-man team who won the Nurburgring 24-hour race for Mercedes-Benz. He also played his father in the 2013 film Rush, about British racer James Hunt.
Guy Edwards, who raced in F1 for three seasons during the 1970s, was awarded a Queen’s Gallantry Medal for helping to save world champion Lauda from a burning car at the 1978 German Grand Prix.
British former F1 star David Coulthard called Edwards a “top man and super talented racer”, while driver turned broadcaster Martin Brundle added “motorsport can be too cruel”.
Sean Edwards had been leading the Porsche Supercup series, whose season loosely shadows that of Formula One, having won three of this season’s seven races for Germany’s Team Allyouneed.
It was his fourth consecutive season in the competition, having finished fifth, fourth and sixth in the past three years. He was also runner-up in the 2011 and 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
Prior to that he raced in the GT3 European Championship, which he won in 2006, having begun karting competitively aged 11.
Edwards is believed to have been helping paying members of the public try out racing at Queensland Raceway. The driver, said to be a 20-year-old Brisbane man, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Emergency services took three hours to cut him free.
The young Briton’s death comes during a difficult time for motorsport, just four days after Spanish former F1 reserve driver Maria de Villota died from injuries attributed to a 2012 crash.
Scottish IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti – a former team-mate of Dan Wheldon, who died in a crash at the Las Vegas Indy 300 in late 2011 – fractured his spine, two ribs and an ankle in a race last week.