John began racing karts in 2003 winning the Great Lakes Sprint Series Jr Briggs Restricted Championship. That same year he became the youngest ever licensed driver in U.S. open-wheel road racing. Competing in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series on January 17, 2004, John became the youngest winner in open wheel road racing history, at just 12 years of age (click here to read his first interview– click here for his ‘Boys’ Life Cover, story begins on page 12). Later in 2004 John won the Red Bull Driver Search, an effort to find the next American F1 World Champion.
In 2005 John moved to Europe, first competing in international karting. His early mid-year promotion to Formula Renault resulted in him becoming the youngest to ever hold a FIA license. After a first year of “baptism by fire” John completed a successful campaign in 2006 with podium finishes at Spa-Franchorchamps and the Nurburgring, and his first European victory at Anderstorp.
In 2007 John raced the competitive Atlantic Championship, another youngest achievement, but a premature step up in class. He had a second place at Toronto, as well as several other top-five finishes, ultimately ending 9th in the championship. In 2008, John won the Star Mazda Championship. In spite of missing the first race he secured 4 poles, 8 podiums, and 5 race wins in 11 races. For 2009 John returned to the Atlantic Championship. It was a return of determination as he won a hard fought championship, perhaps the highlight of his racing career. He finished the season with 3 poles, 4 wins, and 9 podiums in 12 races.
For 2010 John teamed with Adam Christodoulou in a SpeedSource-prepared Mazda RX-8 in Grand-Am GT. They achieved one win, two seconds and a third in eleven races. For 2011 John joined Matt Bell and the Stevenson Motorsports Team in the Grand Am GS Series, achieving wins at Laguna Seca and Road America. In addition he raced a partial season with Team Sahlen in the Grand Am GT series, taking the Mazda to the podium several times with co-driver Wayne Nonnamaker. For 2012 John once again raced for Stevenson Motorsports, achieving wins in both the Grand Am GS and GT series.
For 2013 John is once again paired with Robin Liddell and Stevenson Motorsports in the Grand Am GT series, and Matt Bell in the Grand Am GS series. He will also race a partial season in the American Le Mans series with Rahal Letterman Racing driving the Z4 GTE BMW.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN EDWARDS:
Where do you feel most at home?
“In the mountains.”
What do you find so captivating about motorsport?
“I like feeling so in control of something that is so on the limit.”
What memories do you have of your first race?
“I don’t remember my first race so well but I remember my first test, the first time I ever drove a Go-Kart and it was the first time I really felt that I belonged in a sport. Because I had tried other sports before where I definitely did not belong.”
Did you ever doubt whether being a racing driver was the right profession for you?
“I had plenty of doubts when I was younger and even when I was older whether I would be able to become a racing driver, but I never doubted whether that was what I wanted to be.”
What car do you drive outside of work?
“Right now I have a BMW M6, but for the summer I will have a BMW X6 M. The new model of the BMW X6 M is what I am really excited about.”
Your favourite book?
“‘Into thin Air’ by Jon Krakauer about the drama at Mount Everest.”
Your favourite circuit?
“The Nürburgring-Nordschleife and Watkins Glen.”
Your favourite food?
Your favourite place?
“Jackson Hole, Wyoming.”
Who is your biggest fan?
“My biggest fan is a friend of our family. He has been supporting me since I was little and started racing. He even came over to see me in Europe.”
What is your greatest strength?
“When it matters, I am able to be very analytical.”
And your greatest weakness?
“When it doesn’t matter, it is the opposite. I then have a very hard time controlling my emotions.”
Your goal for the 2015 USCC season?
“Obviously the goal always is to win the championship. But the very least is to win some races, regardless of what happens over the season because that relies on a lot of things you can’t control. But over ten races we should definitely be able to win some.”