15/10/2013 06:58 BST | Updated 15/10/2013 08:40 BST

Sean Edwards, British Sportscar Driver, Killed In Porsche Crash In Australia

Leading figures in world motorsport have paid to tribute to British racing driver Sean Edwards after he was killed in a freak accident in Austrialia.

Porsche Supercup championship leader Edwards died during a private testing session at Queensland Raceway where he was acting as an instructor.

The 26-year-old Briton, who had three 24-hour endurance victories to his name, was killed instantly when the Porsche 996, in which he was a passenger, hit the barriers on Tuesday.

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Sean Edwards (left) celebrating with team-mate Bernd Schneider after winning this year's Nurburgring 24 Hours

The car burst into flames on impact with the tyre wall with the driver, a 20-year-old man from Brisbane, still trapped inside. Emergency services spent three hours trying to extract him from the wreckage and he is now reportedly in intensive care with life-threatening injuries.

Edwards was firmly established as a leading contender in both the Supercup - one of Formula One's support race series - and the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and is 18 points clear in this year's Supercup with only the final round in Abu Dhabi next month left to run.

He had also enjoyed much success in endurance racing this year with victories in both the Nurburgring and Dubai 24 Hours.

Among those paying their respects via Twitter to the popular Briton was ex-F1 driver and commentator, Martin Brundle

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Indycar driver and fellow Briton Dario Franchitti, who is still recovering in hospital after a huge crash in IndyCar race in Houston 10 days ago when he suffered concussion, two fractured vertebra and a fractured right ankle, also left a message

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Edwards, who was on his first visit to Australia, was the son of F1 driver Guy Edwards and had recently coached drivers on the film set of Rush, reported.

He had played his father in some scenes of the film, including the scene in which he saved German Niki Lauda from a fiery crash.

Edwards' death comes soon after the death of another sportscar driver, Allan Simonsen, who was killed at the Le Mans 24 Hours.