On the one-year anniversary of Sean Edwards’ death, the foundation formed to honor the late GT racing star has announced a number of new safety initiatives, while launching a social media campaign to help raise further awareness of the present dangers of motorsport.
The Sean Edwards Foundation, established by Sean’s mother, Daphne McKinley, has identified three key areas designed to educate and improve drivers, including the launch of a standardized safety awareness course, accident support and the recognition of rising talent.
Edwards, 26, was killed in a track day accident while coaching a driver at Queensland Raceway on Oct. 15, 2013.
“For obvious reasons this is an incredibly important day for the foundation, but simply marking the anniversary of Sean’s passing isn’t what we’re trying to achieve,” McKinley said.
“From personal experience, and subsequently speaking to a number of people within the industry, it’s become clear that much more should be done to educate drivers about the risks they face and also make positive changes to the industry as a whole.
“Sean was as critical as anyone on the subject of safety when coaching, but he still paid the ultimate sacrifice. I know that a lot of drivers feel the same way but it will take all stakeholders – circuits, promoters, organizers, manufacturers and governing bodies – pulling in the same direction if we’re to achieve real change. Hopefully SEF’s work will be the catalyst.”
Here’s a rundown of the initiatives:
Sean Edwards Test: No standardized safety awareness course or test currently exists within motorsport training. SEF aims to address this by educating youngsters, amateurs and gentleman drivers about the importance of upholding personal safety when racing.
Only once a driver has passed the SET, which will feature a simulator session, professional racing driver coaches, real case histories, track time and genuine onboard video situations, should their race license be awarded. It’s also hoped that passing SET will automatically lower insurance premiums.
Fast Track: One of Sean’s passions was mentoring aspiring, talented drivers. Fast Track will exist as a direct extension of that, continuing his legacy of combining speed with safety in pursuit of success.
SEF will seek to identify young talented drivers who may not normally come to the attention of existing mentorship programs. Research conducted amongst the motorsport community will help identify the key attributes SEF is seeking. It’s upon these that its drivers will be selected.
A driver who exhibits the desired attitude, talent and attributes will be awarded the Sean Edwards Memorial Trophy.
Accident Support: SEF will link up with key sports universities to develop rehabilitation centers dedicated to assisting injured racing drivers post-accident. The foundation will act as a coordinator and facilitator in helping drivers manage physical injuries, psychological implications and financial issues.
Future initiatives will also include the banning of open-faced helmets and non-compliant passenger seats, a safety cell campaign and insurance lobbying.
In addition, the foundation has launched a social media campaign, asking the motorsport community to jump in honor of Edwards, and post the picture on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #jump4SEF and @SeanEdwardsF
Edwards, who claimed wins at the Nurburgring 24 and Dubai 24 Hours, as well numerous victories in Porsche Supercup, FIA GT and in ALMS competition, would always leap in celebration on the podium after winning a race.
Full details on SEF’s safety initiatives, and to make donations to the foundation can be found here.