Monday, 13 February 2017

Jade Edwards

Jade with the Mini in 2016

Jade Edwards is a British sportscar racer. She is the younger sister of Chloe Edwards, and the pair sometimes race together.

She began racing in 2006, in the Ginetta Junior championship, as a fifteen-year-old. Chloe, who is three years older, had raced in the series the year before, so Jade used her old car. Her best result appears to have been fourth, at the Ginetta Junior Festival in 2006, and she was ninth in the championship.

Later, in 2008, after she had graduated from junior competition, she shared Chloe’s MG ZR for the SportMaxx Cup. The pair occasionally drove together.

They competed against each other in the 2010 Max5 Championship, driving different Mazda MX-5s this time.  

In 2011, Jade returned to Max5 with the family team. She had to sit out the mid-part of the season due to crashing her car at Rockingham, and the engine then blowing up at Donington. However, she managed some top-ten finishes in class.

In 2012, she was 37th in the championship, with a best finish of two third places, plus nine more top tens. She did not run a whole season.

In 2014, she made a comeback after a quiet period, driving a Ginetta G55 in the British GT4 championship. She took part in three races, finishing two of them, with a best finish of ninth, at Spa. She was also tenth at Snetterton, with co-driver Matthew Draper. Later in the season, she made a guest appearance in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge at Donington, this time with Chloe. They won their race, which was a female first for the championship, and probably for the marque. Driving for the Craft-Bamboo team, Jade also took part in three other races.

In October, she did her first international endurance race, the 12 Hours of Hungary. She was driving a Volkswagen Golf with Tom Onslow-Cole and Paul White. They were seventh overall, and won their class.

Most of 2015 was spent in the British GT4 Championship, driving the Aston Martin for the Stratton/UltraTek team. Her best finishes were a pair of tenth places, at Rockingham and Snetterton, and she was 25th overall. Chloe was among her team-mates, alongside George White and David Tinn. Late in the season, she drove a MARC Focus in the Catalunya 24 Hours, as part of an international driving squad, but did not finish. This was a guest spot with an Australian team. They had been leading their class until the 22nd hour.

In 2016, she took a step back from racing, and spent some time as a driving instructor to Johnny Vegas on ITV's motorsport game show, Drive. She made a guest appearance in the Knockhill round of the Celticspeed Mini Cooper Cup, in support of a hospice charity, and at the end of the season, contested the 25 Hours of Spa Fun Cup race. She and her team-mates were second.
Her last event of the year was the Race of Remembrance at Anglesey, in which she drove a VW Golf with Tom Onslow-Cole, Chris Hoy and Jon-Allan Butterworth. This was her third run in the charity race, in aid of injured service personnel. She won the inaugural one in 2014, and finished on the podium in 2015.

In 2017, she raced in the Clio Cup for Ciceley Motorsport. It was a challenging year with a tight budget, which limited her opportunities for testing. She did prove herself capable of getting on the pace with two top-ten finishes: a ninth at Croft mid-season, then an eighth at Silverstone in September. Her final championship position was 16th.

She raced for the MRM team in the 2018 Clio Cup. It was an eventful year, with a few dramatic accidents as well as four top-ten finishes. She rolled heavily at Oulton Park and a crowdfunding campaign was needed to get her back in the championship. She also had her share of being collected by other peoples' accidents. In addition to this, she was stung by a sponsorship deal that turned out to be a scam mid-season. Again, her supporters rallied round to help her. She was 14th in the championship.

When not actively racing, Jade works within the motorsport industry, as a driving instructor, PR person and even as a tyre technician. In 2014, she was one of the safety car drivers for the BTCC. She is a third-generation racer, the daughter of Jim Edwards Jr.

(Image copyright Chloe Edwards)

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