Le Mans 24 Hour debutant, Andy Meyrick, today experienced the best race of his young life so far. Driving the AIM Team ORECA Matmut 01 prototype car, the Welsh driver and his French team mates, Soheil Ayari and Didier André, finished fourth overall in the world’s biggest and toughest sports car race and took the honour of being the first petrol-powered car behind the three podium-placed Audi diesels.
“There was no way we were going to beat the diesels,” said Cheshire-based Andy (24) afterwards. “To finish top petrol is unbelievable. The start of the race wasn’t perfect, and we had a starter motor issue with about 90 minutes to go which was a bit tricky but it was fixed very, very quickly as you’d expect from the ORECA team. We’ve all put a lot of work into this but I’m really happy with the outcome, as you’d expect.
“I was lucky enough to be driving the car at the end of the race which is a huge honour, especially for a Briton in a French team. For Hugues [de Chaunac] to give me the opportunity to do that, as a rookie, to bring the car home at my first Le Mans in front of 1600 or so guests and a huge number of people from the factory, is fantastic.
“As I was getting ready to get into the car for that final stint, the other ORECA car, the Peugeot, had spun off so everyone was crying in the garage as they were pushing for the podium. Now Hugues was say to me, “You are our only chance of a result here now so do a good job.”
Despite the weather forecast earlier in the week being for changeable conditions, the sun shone for much of the twice-round-the-clock event – crowning a magical time for Meyrick at Le Mans.
The final word goes to Hugues de Chaunac, the owner and Team Principal of ORECA. “Andy really had a great week because Le Mans is very difficult for someone who is a debutant. It’s not easy for him to come into a French team and integrate, but the guy is nice and the driver has performed . He did a great job and was very good and listened to everything we said; something we really appreciated from him. He’s also very motivated and focused on the target, how the team is working, and what we are expecting from the drivers. He has a good understanding of what a driver has to do. He’s not made any mistakes and he’s quick so I’m very pleased to have discovered Andy.”