Young sports car star, Andy Meyrick, may well be based in Cheshire, England, but he’s very proud of his Welsh roots. He believes he could be the only Welshman to ever be entered in the top prototype class for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, due to take place on 12/13th June on the 14km circuit, and fully intends to make his mark on the event in the most positive way possible.
“Le Mans is the most prestigious race there is for a sports car driver; it’s the biggest race you can do and certainly the biggest I will have done so far. I’m really excited by the challenge, and very thankful of the opportunity given to me by Hugues de Chaunac and the AIM Team ORECA Matmut.”
The 24-year-old Briton, who is also a Dyson Racing driver in the American Le Mans Series, was close to making his debut at Le Mans last year with the Kolles Audi team, but it didn’t quite materialise.
“I feel I’m coming of age now,” continues Andy, “and starting to make strides forward with my driving and my sports car race craft. I’m ready and prepared for it. I’ve done some testing at the HTTT Paul Ricard track in the south of France with ORECA and bring some experience with me from Dyson of the Dunlop tyres on which we’ll be running so that helps. There are 18 LMP1 cars entered so it will certainly be tough up against the diesel-powered Peugeots and Audis, but it’s a great opportunity for the team to show case the car and for me to contribute to that.”
While in France recently, Meyrick was able to visit the hugely impressive ORECA facilities at Signes. “I was blown away,” he said afterwards. “It’s an amazing place, with some fantastic people working there, and it’s super impressive. Aside from their racing, they make a lot of parts for many major motor manufacturers as well as supplying lots of smaller racing teams.”
In the final few weeks before leaving for France, Andy has been ramping up his training to get himself into peak physical fitness. He’s been put through his paces by trainer, Richard Chessman, concentrating on increased lower body work to build up leg strength in order to cope with the longer and harder braking required at Le Mans, and a lot more swimming and rowing for endurance.
“I will be on the Wirth Research simulator on Thursday to familiarise myself with the track,” says Andy, “and hope that gives me an advantage before getting there in person. I’ve got two good team mates in Soheil Ayari and Didier André who have both done the race several times, and the team and the environment around it brings you along as a driver. It’s a very cool environment to work in.”