Sean Edwards leads a pack at Austin (Tony DiZinno)

Edwards was sublime to watch from the grandstands

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Others who knew Sean Edwards or witnessed him in his international races will offer far better, likely longer, tributes. I can only offer a pair of reflections on his ability from a fan’s standpoint.

Earlier this year, I was doing PR for one of the teams racing in the American Le Mans Series. The team had not made the trip to Long Beach, and so I had the rare – but enjoyable – opportunity to watch the ALMS race there from the grandstands observing Turn 10.

It’s as good a corner as you’ll see on a street course – a sweeping left-hander that challenges drivers to push hard enough but not overdrive as immediately after completing the sweep, you have to brake quickly into Long Beach’s signature corner, the hairpin. At the same time, you have to acknowledge faster prototypes are going to be overtaking, so you have to be constantly aware and allow room without getting too far off line.

And it was there, you could see Edwards sawing at the wheel, pushing relentlessly, just that fraction of a second quicker than his rivals in the ultra competitive and often overlooked GTC class. It’s a spec class, so in the single make of Porsche Cup cars, the fans had the chance to see Edwards excel at his maximum. It marked Edwards’ first, and sadly only, ALMS victory.

Later this year, with those PR commitments dropped, I again went to an ALMS race but simply as a fan for the ALMS/FIA World Endurance Championship joint weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

My dad and I had the opportunity to cheer, scream and gasp as we watched the final half hour of the ALMS race. Here was Edwards, leading Damien Faulkner in another Porsche, fighting neck-and-neck throughout the circuit. Faulkner got past through traffic but only after an incredible defense offered by Edwards.

It was like watching two maestros conducting a symphony at once.

Sadly today, one of those two is gone.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup