INTERVIEW WITH A CHAMPION: SEAN EDWARDS
Sean Edwards claimed the inaugural FIA GT3 European title in Mugello, after claiming three wins in a row behind the wheel of his Tech9 Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
He shared the nr 9 car with Demitris Deverikos for the first three rounds, changing to Phil Keen for the last two events. Keen and Edwards proved to be an exceptional duo, with three wins together.
So how did Edwards feel at winning his first title?
"The result has sunk in a bit more, but it's still difficult to realize that I'm the FIA GT3 European Champion!
Before this, I did four or five years of international karting, then the BRDC Formula Ford Championship in 2003. I did Formula Renault in 2004, then took half a year off to finish my A levels in 2005. At the end of the season I did some British GT races and won a couple of races there. After that we decided that the FIA GT3 European Championship was the best option for 2006.
The season has been a great contest. The FIA did a great job of equalizing the cars through the season. Oschersleben wasn't looking too good, but the cars were well equalized after that. The Porsche wasn't still right up at the top. Consistency always makes the Championship. It was a great experience; everyone was nice in the paddock and there was a really nice atmosphere in general.
We had a second place in the first race of the season at Silverstone which was great. We could have won but a few little things didn't work out. Then a couple of seconds at Spa with Dimitris, which was great. Unfortunately his budget ran out then, but we got a great replacement in Phil Keen for the last four races. The highlight of the season has to be winning the last three races on the trot. Obviously, an equal driver pair will always be the best way. Dimitris was a bit slower, but Phil and I were equal on pace. It proves that once you get the good driver pairing, even in a car that shouldn't really be winning ahead of the Vipers and Corvettes, you can still win.
We've had more than our fair share of bad weather this season. I think the rain at Mugello definitely helped us. Being British, we know that sort of conditions. It also suited the Porsche more. It equalized the downforce, making us more equal to the other cars, and we were more competitive. Obviously, being in Italy, we weren't really expecting those sort of conditions. We had a wet race at nearly every round except for Oschersleben, which was our worst round. We were about three seconds off the pace, and limped round, hoping to at least win the Porsche Cup.
For next year, I'd love to move up to drive a GT1 or GT2 car, depending on budgets and options. I'm open to do pretty much anything at the moment. Having a title like this behind me should help a lot, and open quite a lot of doors. This is my first Championship win out of karting, so it's a lovely feeling. Also, Tech9 won the teams Championship, which we thought was impossible coming in to the final round. But we won by two points -- the team really deserves it. They worked really hard to make the car as competitive as possible. This is four years in a row they have won a title -- three British and now one European title. I hope they can continue in the same way next year!
It's amazing to win the Championship; everything eventually played into our hands. We got lucky sometimes, but it was mainly due to the hard work of everyone in the team. I'd like to thank my parents, my sponsors, SG Ambrose, and everyone who had been behind me, and hopefully we can carry this momentum through into next season and see what we can do then."