Sean Edwards was the little boy from across the street that grew up to be one of motor racing’s most promising stars. An extremely polite, intelligent, sweet little boy, and one of Tatjana’s favorite playmates. We took trips to the park, street fairs, went out for meals, trick-or-treating, to parties, and the children played at each others houses. I’m having great difficulty wrapping my mind around the fact he is gone, so I can only imagine what his family are going through. My heart breaks with theirs.
Last Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 – Sean Edwards, 26, was in the passenger seat for a private test session teaching another young driver when they smashed through the tyre wall, and into the concrete wall in Queensland, Australia. Sean was killed on impact.
“It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. It’s what you never want to happen, for your children to die before you. The loss to us is unfathomable,” his mother Daphne McKinley said in a statement to the press. “I haven’t just lost a son, I have lost a great friend.”
Daphne has always been a friend I admire, whose advice I’ve sought often. A true matriarch of a close knit family, who knew how to support and guide each of her children towards realizing their full potential. Sean’s career was on the verge of even greater success after winning both the Nurburgring and Dubai 24 Hours this year, and he was positioned to win the 2013 Porsche Supercup championship with his 18 point lead over the other drivers, and only two races remaining.
My move back to the United States, and the Edward’s to Monaco took us all in different directions years ago. I missed out on knowing Sean as an adult. The closest I came, was watching his career proudly from afar, and seeing the movie-star handsome young man in Ron Howard’s film Rush, reenacting his father, Formula 1 driver Guy Edwards‘ true-life heroic efforts pulling Nikki Lauda to safety after his 1976 crash.
While in London briefly last June, I met Daphne in Kensington to see the jaw-dropping home she’d just finished renovating (we’re talking James Bond spectacular here) for her property development company, and then we closed a restaurant down reminiscing and catching up for hours. The part that shakes me to the core is that we actually discussed how dangerous racing can be, and while any mother on some level must find it nerve-wracking, Daphne was confident in her son’s talent and skill. Racing is in his blood, and Sean was karting almost as soon as he could walk.
That made it all the more poignant when his younger sister, Jade (now a talented young writer/film director) told the Evening Standard – “the irony is that his death wasn’t in his control when he died, he was a passenger. It would feel different if he crashed in a race, because then he was dying for his passion, but it feels jarring and ultimately ironic that his death is from being in the passenger seat with a client on the other side of the world that was completely unnecessary for him to take on.”
There are no words I can offer to adequately express our sorrow. Daphne, Jade, Natasha, Guy, and Sean’s girlfriend, Laura – please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope the rest of you will please join me in helping to ensure that Sean receives the championship he worked so hard for, and deserves.
I just signed the petition “Porsche Motorsport: Make the final race of the 2013 Supercup Season a non-points race” on Change.org, and I hope you will please sign it too. Here’s the link:
Thanks for signing the petition, and R.I.P Sean. You are forever our champ!