On Tuesday 15th October 2013 Sean Edwards died in a crash at Queensland Raceway, Australia. Sean was coaching a young driver when the car he was a passenger in left the circuit and crashed.
In May 2012, a few days after David Coulthard confirmed he was supporting the launch of the Replay Motorsport project, we contacted Sean via Facebook. Sean had just won the Porsche Cup race in Monaco, his home circuit, we really didn't expect to get an instant reply to our request for a favourite memory. Not only did Sean reply, but he arranged a time to speak with him. Whilst in the middle of requests from the world's motorsport media, Sean rang a tiny new project helping older race fans living with dementia, to share a few favourite memories. He was very generous with his time and spoke with absolute passion, describing his love of the sport, the pride of winning around the streets of Monaco and spoke so fondly of how he was introduced to motorsport and supported in his career by his father, Guy.
Three months later, completely out of the blue, we were contacted again by Sean. He had read more about the work we were doing and he asked us to interview his Dad. Sean was a very proud son and thought his father would enjoy looking back on his own career and that Guy's memories might go some way toward triggering memories for older race fans. It was an incredibly thoughtful and generous offer. The time we spoke with Guy confimred two things. Guy did indeed love talking about his own time behind the wheel, but central to the conversation at all times was Sean. Guy described how he used to take a young Sean regularly along to the Daventry motor museum to see the Hesketh Penthouse Rizzla car Guy raced in 1976. The very car Sean then drove during filming of Rush.
It was clear how proud Guy was of Sean, not only of how his career was developing but also of the person he had become. He described his joy of either watching Sean's races on TV and of the phone calls he would get from Sean after each race, telling him how he had got on.
Guy and Sean were the first father and son to share memories with the project. We were lucky to have been allowed to have had contact with such a kind, generous man and our thoughts are with Sean's family, friends and fellow racers.
The network has received the first father and son memories for the project and what a fantastic story they make! Guy and Sean Edwards shared these amamzing memories.
Guy Edwards drove the Rizzla Penthouse Hesketh-Ford in the 1976 German Grand Prix and is possibly best known for being the first driver to stop at the scene of Nicki Lauda's accident at the Nurburgring. He was subsequently awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his actions in helping to save Lauda from the burning wreckage. In subsequent years,Guy used to take his young son Sean to the Daventry museum to see the car he drove in that race.
36 years later, Sean has been driving that very car at the Nurburgring as the American director Ron Howard makes the movie about the fierce rivalry between James Hunt & Nicki Lauda and Lauda's accident - Rush (release date Sept 2013 www.rushmovie.com)
"Prior to Monaco I had been involved in some filming with Director Ron Howard......... For the movie footage I drove the Porsche support car that arrives to assist at Lauda's infamous accident at the Nordschliefe and also had the honour of driving the F1 car my father drove in that race."
How did Guy Edwards get into Formula 1?
"Racing the Chevron led me into then getting to race Formula 5000 which ran alongside Formula One.They were very tricky cars to drive at the best of times but I was lucky enough to win a couple of good races just before the end of the 1973 season, which brought me in touch with Graham Hill.
It was a difficult time for Formula One when I drove, there was little safety precautions, which meant if you did have an accident, it was often nasty and many at that time proved fatal.
My Formula 5000 car was a Lola. I went into the factory one day and spotted they were building some kind of a new car in the corner of the workshop. I went across and asked what it was and they said it was a Formula One car for Graham Hill. So I gave him a call. I'd never met him and to the best of my knowledge he hadn't actually seen me race, but i guess that because I'd won those last two races of the '73 season, he probably reckoned I had a reasonable chance in Formula One, so he signed me up."
Read Guy Edward's story on Replay Motorsport
Sean got the bug for motorsport from an
early age when his Dad took him karting when he was 6 years old. Sean
now competes in race series across the World. One series he tasted
victory in earlier this year was the Porsche Cup. This high profile
series runs alongside Formula 1 and Sean takes up the story of just how
it felt to be on the top step of the podium at the most historic and
glamorous venue of them all.
Monaco May 2012 - Porsche Cup
Credit : image copyright http://seanedwards.eu
"Warm up lap - all felt good. The challenge then is hitting your mark on the grid. Visibility in the car isn't great for this particular aspect and you are on your own trying to judge lining up for your grid box. It's easy to lose a few metres by pulling up short of the line, but you can't go beyond it, so there is some pressure there anyway, but the start at Monaco is critical, just to add a bit more to focus the mind!
A clear view down to the first corner. Sainte Devote. Get there first and exit it ahead and history says you will more than likely win. Starts are tricky, getting the balance of the bite point and making sure there is just enough slip to avoid sitting still spinning your wheels as all around you fly past. Starts haven't always been my strongest point, this one needed to be good.
We were held on the start line for some time, but then the first red light on the comes on, followed by 4 more, a long pause, then they extinguish and it's the off. I get one of my best starts of the season and immediately pull a couple of car lengths clear. Into the first corner and exit up the hill towards Casino Square with a clear road in front of me."
Read Sean Edward`s story on Replay Motorsport
Thanks to Guy Edwards and Sean Edwards for their time and support