ENGLISH professional race driver Sean Edwards has died in a fiery crash at a Queensland raceway.
Edwards, 26, was killed after the Porsche he was travelling in slammed into a tyre wall and burst into flames on Tuesday morning at the Queensland Raceway, near Ipswich.
The 20-year-old driver was trapped in the car for two hours before emergency services freed him.
He suffered severe burns and was airlifted to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
Police Inspector Dave Preston says it was difficult to get them out of the mangled wreckage.
“The fire and rescue had to do extensive work in relation to extracting and opening the vehicle up sufficiently to remove him, he was trapped for some time,” he said.
“When I last went down there and he was being removed he was awake and aware of what was going on around him.”
Edwards is currently leading in the Porsche Supercup Championship and was due to race again in Abu Dhabi next month.
He was in Australia for the first time on a two-day holiday.
“First time to Aus, have heard great thing (sic) so looking forward to my two days there!”, Edwards wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
He had been excited and keen to get on the track as soon as he arrived.
“Time to hit Queensland Raceway today, should be fun, hope there aren’t too many kangaroos like at Bathurst!,” he tweeted on Monday.
“Our thoughts are with his family and we want to express our deepest condolences to his relatives,” said Hartmut Kristen, Head of Motorsport at Porsche, in a statement from Germany on Tuesday.
Edwards was the son of Formula One driver Guy Edwards and starred as his father in the 2013 film Rush, which is about the 1976 Formula One season.
There’s been an outpouring of grief and condolences on Twitter from hundreds of fellow drivers, motorsport journalists and fans of the popular driver.
With only two races left in the Porsche Supercup Championship series, some called for Edwards to be awarded the title as a mark of respect.
Former Formula One driver David Coulthard was shocked by news of Edwards’ death.
“Top man and super talented racer, condolences to his nearest and dearest,” he tweeted.
Former Spanish driver Jaime Alguersuari was also in a sombre mood.
“Rest in peace sean edwards, sad news for motorsport recently,” he tweeted.
New Zealand V8 Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin said it always hit home when a fellow racer was killed.
“Our sport is dangerous, we are very lucky to be still here telling a tale. Rip Sean Edwards,” he tweeted.
At the time of the accident the track was being used by a company that offers joyrides in a green and black Porsche, according to the raceway’s website.
Tuesday’s crash comes just five months after another death at the same circuit.
A 23-year-old motorbike racer died after he hit the back wheel of another motorbike and crashed in June.
By Marty Silk (AAP)