With the season having ended on a quiet note last weekend with Eddie only managing 9th in the Endurance race and 10th in the sprint race, attention turned to the various contract negotiations over race seats for 2011. Many deals were confirmed with one or two options still up in the air.
This weekend Eddie confirmed that he is to stay with Galliard for another year and will again partner Paul Williams and Chris Hoyle for the 2011 Premier Endurance Championship.
This year saw Galliard enjoy their most competitive season for many years with 3 podium finishes and only narrowly missing out on 6th place in the championship.
“I am delighted to be staying with Galliard for another season. This year has been fantastic and exceeded all my expectations. To get three podiums was a great achievement and one I hope we can improve on for next year. It really is a great team and I feel I’ve settled in well. I haven’t gelled so well with a team since the IMSD Racing days and I feel really at home here. The team have done a fantastic job and I’m really pleased to be a part of it.”
Eddie also confirmed the recent rumours he is to be teaming up with Rich Higham in the Open Endurance Championship. A deal was apparently finalised last weekend with Carlsberg and Rich Higham’s management enterprise will run the team as Enriched Racing.
Although refusing to be drawn into questions surrounding his departure from Avit Racing, it transpired that Eddie had been put on “gardening leave” earlier in the season.
“It is a shame things didn’t work out so well with Avit in the end. After dominating the championship last year, and having been a big part of winning it, I was really looking forward to defending the title this year. Unfortunately, motor racing is a fickle business. Still, I’m really looking forward to teaming up with Rich full time next year. We’ve obviously raced together a couple of times with Avit as well as having competed against each other in both the Premier Endurance and Sprint championships over the last couple of years. He’s a great guy and I know we’ll work well. We will definitely be challenging for the championship next year. That has to be the goal.”
Although having already confirmed he would be stepping up to the Premier sprint series for 2011, the recent shake-up of the sprint championships has left some uncertainty over where he will be next year. With a new Clubman championship having been announced and a change in format to the existing sprint championship, coupled with the limited number of spaces available in the Premier series, Eddie confessed he is in the dark as to where he will be.
“I would like to give the Premier championship a try because I want to race with the best. But I also want to win. If I move up I know I’ll find it a struggle but I also know I’ll rise to the challenge. If I move across to the new Clubman series I’ll probably stand a better chance of winning but I’ll be in the same position I’ve been the last couple of years. There are only twenty-four or twenty-six spaces at Premier level so I don’t know. I just have to wait and see which championship I’ll be invited to race in.”
Negotiations are still on-going about next year’s European championship. Eddie has been cagey about the subject but rumours are that he will again race with Les Coupe d’Herbe alongside Lee Kemp and Galliard stable-mate Paul Williams.
Eddie has ruled out racing in the winter series this year, stating that he wants to rest over the winter.
“It has been a very busy year. I have competed in thirty-five races over twenty-one weekends and I need a break. I’m still suffering with a rib injury I picked up last weekend in the endurance race and I need to make sure I’m fully fit for next year. Also, with just one round in this year’s winter series I don’t really see the point.”
This means there will be a 3 month break before the new season commences. It again promises to be an exciting year.