John Edwards’ Nurburgring Adventure, by John Dagys (

Just one week before claiming the 2009 Atlantic Series championship, John Edwards turned his first-ever laps in a closed-top race car. It wasn’t any ordinary race or at any ordinary track, though. The 18-year-old strapped behind the wheel of a GT4-spec BMW M3 on the Nurburgring Nordschleife for what would be a baptism by fire.
Edwards' BMW M3 GT4 he piloted at the 41st annual ADAC Barbarossapreis at the Nurburgring. (Sören Herweg)

Sharing the wheel of the SP10 class car with Michael Auriemma and Richard Gorannson, the trio took home the class win, finishing a very respectable 28th overall out of the 181-car field.

“That was my only other experience in anything with a top on it,” Edwards said, in addition to this weekend’s run in the “25 in 25” Mazda MX-5 Miata. “It was similar, but we were in a little higher horsepower car, so we’d pass more cars on the straights. But it was slower in the corners because there were a lot of street production cars at the Nurburgring.

“The Nordschleife is amazing. I was actually surprised how much fun Thunderhill was, because compared to the Nordschleife, it’s a very short track, but it has all the elevation and off-camber corners, and even a jump. So it’s pretty exciting. But over at the Nordschleife, you get air three times a lap at over 100 mph each time. It’s definitely something special and really interesting for that being my first ever race driving something with a top on it!”

The event turned out to be a family affair for the Edwards, as John’s father also drove in the four-hour enduro, finishing fifth in his class aboard a Honda Civic.
John is proudly sponsored by Mazda.

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