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Why Edwards feels ready for Supercars role

TIM Edwards has bled blue for the past 19 seasons but insists the transition to a neutral role within Supercars will be no problem.

Edwards has not finished up as Tickford Racing CEO and team principal just yet, but is attending next month’s wind tunnel aero testing in the United States as a prelude to his next gig as Supercars’ general manager of motorsport.

That puts him in the hot seat, as outgoing head of motorsport Adrian Burgess discovered this year amid an unrelenting, political parity storm.

Edwards’ Ford links stretch back to his father John contesting two Great Races in its short time at Phillip Island, aboard an Anglia in 1961 and an XL Falcon the following year.

But Edwards is not unfamiliar with needing to put Supercars first.

“I think part of the reason that I ended up on the board and the Commission for the last 15 or 16 years straight, elected by the teams in the pitlane, is because they know when I sit in those environments I think about the sport,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“The number of times that I’ve gone back to work and people at Tickford or FPR or Prodrive, whatever it was called at the time, have said ‘why on earth did you vote for that?’ It’s because I put the sport first.

“So I’m not bothered by that. The reality is, I’m a motorsport fan.

“It will be different, not going to the pit wall to cheer a car across the line, but I watch Formula 1, I watch Supercross, I watch drags, sprintcars, I watch so many forms of motorsport that I’m not a competitor in and I really enjoy that.

“It will be different but I’m not concerned at all by that.”

Edwards, whose appointment was hailed by Chevrolet-aligned Barry Ryan (Erebus) and Mark Dutton (Triple Eight), is actually looking forward to having a more specific area of responsibility.

“In the short term it’s really just picking up the stuff that Adrian has already set in place,” said Edwards.

“He has already set the wheels in motion for the wind tunnel testing and there’s a whole engine program that they’re working through as well, so a lot of that is already set in motion. So I can’t take credit for that, I’m just going to pick up what Adrian already started.

“Further down the track, it’s going to be a little bit different because I’m not the CEO; I have got my own responsibilities and I’m part of a leadership group.

“I have gone from having all the headaches to a portion of the headaches now, and probably the portion that I’m really looking forward to.

“Because in my current role, I come to the races and I get to think about motor racing, but most of my time when I’m back at the factory is actually running a big business. I’m dealing with HR issues, finance issues, commercial issues, media issues, IT issues, everything that you can imagine that is not the sporting or technical side of it.

“You’re involved in motor racing because you love motor racing; dealing with finance issues and all that sort of stuff, that’s just part of running a 65-person business, so I’m looking forward to having my own little piece of the pie and working with the leadership team about where the sport should be going.

“It’s not going to be Tim’s decision – I’ll have my opinions – but I’m going to be working in a large group and if they think my ideas are stupid, then we won’t be doing it! If they like my ideas, we’ll do it!

“It’s going to be pretty simple, really.”

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