Teenage Aussie Yamaha R3 Cup Champ takes on the world

By Trevor Hedge

Tommy ‘Gun’ Edwards, will head to Spain next week to contest the final round of the World Supersport 300 Championship, which will be staged at Jerez over the weekend of October 20-22. Edwards will join the Hel Performance – Benjan Racing onboard a Kawaski Ninja 300 for the Jerez World SSP300 season finale.

Tom has been giving this chance by Dutch Team Manager Rob Vennegoor. A great fan of young Australian talent, Rob has a long list of Aussie riders he has helped in the past.  That alumni includes the likes of Dave Johnson, Gareth Jones, Jed Metcher, Adrian Nestorovic, Russell Holland, Chris Seaton, Troy Herfoss, Robert Bugden, Corey Snowsill, Mike Jones, Glenn Scott and Bryan Staring.

Rob Vennegoor – “I am very excited to welcome Tommy to Europe and I will do my very best to help guide him through the good and bad that can be experienced for youngsters trying to find their feet in Europe.”

Tommy Edwards - Image by TBG
Tommy Edwards won the 2017 ASBK YMF R3 Cup Championship – Image by TBG

Edwards, from Wellington (NSW), recently won the Australian Yamaha R3 Cup Championship. A clear 55-point victory secured at the Phillip Island finale last weekend, October 8. 

The 16-year-old pulled double-duty throughout the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship by not only contesting the R3 Cup, but also raced all rounds of the Australian Supersport 300 Championship, where he finished second by a slender 8-points, thus narrowly missing out on an unprecedented double crown across the two 300cc categories. 

Tom Edwards - Image by TBG
Tom Edwards – Image by TBG

While only 16-years young, Edwards has already established himself a wide portfolio of success both at home and abroad. 

A graduate from the school of dirt track, Edwards has multiple national and state championship unders his belt in Australia. Underlining his skill in the discipline, Edwards also took on the AMA Flat Track scene, earning two AMA Grand National Titles along the way to being named ‘2013 AMA Youth Rider of the Year’ in America.

Tom Edwards leads at Phillip Island - Image by Half Light
Tom Edwards leads at Phillip Island – Image by Half Light

Soon after taking to the tarmac Tommy gained more international experience in the hotly contested Asia Talent Cup. This season the youngster concentrated his efforts on honing his tarmac craft at home amongst the burgeoning ranks of 300cc Supersport competitors Down Under. 

Tom Edwards with three-time WorldSBK Champion and road race legend Troy Bayliss
Tom Edwards with three-time WorldSBK Champion and road race legend Troy Bayliss

Now the next step in his career comes again on the international stage, the ambitious young star is busy readying himself to contest the World Supersport 300 Championship finale at Jerez on the weekend of October 22. 

Tom Edwards

“I am super excited to be going to Spain for the last round of the 300cc World Championship,” enthused young Tommy.

Tom Edwards - Image by TBG
Tom Edwards receiving his 2017 Yamaha R3 Cup Championship Trophy – Image by TBG

“300cc racing in Australia has been really strong this year and it has been really short notice with a call up this week, but I’m excited get the opportunity to see how we measure up on the world stage. 

Tom Edwards - Image by Half Light
Tom Edwards – Image by Half Light

“I would like to thank Rob Vennegoor of Hel Performance – Benjan Racing for this opportunity and my family, friends and sponsors for all their support.”

Garry McCoy with Tom Edwards
Garry McCoy with Tom Edwards

Tommy will not be the only young Australian on the World Supersport 300 Grid at Jerez, earlier this week it was announced that ‘Under 300cc’ Australian Champion Reid Battye will also contest the Spanish finale of the World SSP300 Championship.