Inaugural Sean Edwards Trophy awarded to Jules Szymkowiak
Tuesday 29th November 2016
The first winner of a new award set up in the name of the late Sean Edwards is Blancpain GT Series frontrunner Jules Szymkowiak.
The 21-year-old Dutchman claimed the Sean Edwards Trophy for a young driver who shows similar attributes to the Porsche Supercup star, who died in 2013.
It is designed to give the winner a career boost similar to the one Edwards received when he became the inaugural champion in the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2006 at the age of 20.
Daphne McKinley Edwards, Sean's mother, described Szymkowiak as a "young man with an awful lot of Sean's attributes and driver skills".
Szymkowiak, who finished fourth in this year's BGTS Sprint Cup with the HTP Mercedes squad, wins 20 sets of Pirelli tyres to be used in the series next season.
He was one of three nominees along with Dries Vanthoor and Luca Stolz, and received the Sean Edwards Trophy at last night's end-of-season awards ceremony of BGTS organiser the Stephane Ratel Organisation.
Nominees must be aged under 21 at the start of the season and compete in both the Endurance and Sprint Cup legs of the BGTS.
The new trophy is one of a number of initiatives by the Sean Edwards Foundation.
They include the Sean Edwards Test, which was launched in 2014 to improve safety among amateur drivers competing SRO-run series.
Edwards was killed at the age of 26 in October 2013 while coaching a rookie driver from the passenger seat in Australia.
He won the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hours and claimed eight victories in the Porsche Supercup in 2008-13.
The SRO's end-of-season prizegiving also featured the Allan Simonsen Award, a trophy given to the British GT driver who displayed the same charactertistic as the Dane, who died in a crash in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Race winner Phil Keen was the 2016 winner, with Nick Tandy, Jonny Adam and Alexander Sims the previous recipients of that award.