The 5th edition of the Dubai 24 hours again took place in January, during the UAE’s so called winter of 30c. Sean Edwards, along with fellow countryman Oliver Morley had set their sights on a podium finish. Rule changes for 2010 had meant that the 997 RSR’s were heavily restricted with extra weight and power reductions, so the race was not going to be easy. But, a 24 hour race is the ultimate endurance test for any driver, team and car. To finish, let alone finish well, so many thing have to go right, with the possibility of so many things to go wrong, it’s the toughest challenge around.
Practice was difficult, with the track being very “green” and the team using the new Dunlop tyre, there was a lot of setup work to be done. By the end of the test session, Sean and the team had worked hard and got the car to where they wanted it for the race. “There was so much oversteer in high speed corners, it was almost undrivable, especially for a long distance race, but I am glad we have resolved the issues now.” commented Sean after the second test session.
Sean was qualifying as usual, but a problem with the from aero splitter only allowed him one lap at reduced speed which resulted in a poor qualifying slot. All the other drivers did their mandatory three lap runs to be eligible for the race.
With the race starting on Friday, everything was set for the long haul ahead. With team owner Miro Knopka starting the car, it was underway to a safe start. Oliver Morley took over for the second stint, putting in a great effort to get the car from 22nd to 8th place by the time he pitted! It had taken it’s tole on him, as he almost collapsed from heat exhaustion when he got out of the car, with cockpit temperatures reaching upto 65c! Richard was third in the car and started off at a decent pace and started to find his rhythm. All of a sudden there was a code 60 yellow and Ricard came on the radio saying the rear right was broken! About ten minutes later the car was recovered by a truck and delivered to the pitlane. Disaster had struck, only three hours into the 24 hour race, with a right rear suspension failure. There was so much damage done to the rear of the car, the race was over, with not enough spare parts to fix it.
“I am gutted, we were progressing really well and I was looking forward to my first stint in the car during the early evening. It’s really bad luck, but that’s racing, so there is nothing we can do.” said a disappointed Sean Edwards shortly after the announced retirement.
Sean is now working hard to secure a full time ride in both the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for the 2010 season.