Andy Meyrick, the 25-year-old British driver who partnered Chris Dyson and Guy Smith at the Sebring 12 Hours and Laguna Seca 6 Hours earlier this year, may not have raced Dyson Racing’s Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupe since May, but he has been far from idle.
Welsh-born Meyrick made his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June in the French AIM Team ORECA Matmut 01 prototype, securing a magnificent fourth place overall behind the three Audi Sport entries. Following that career zenith, and alongside a regular and intense fitness regime, designed to keep him 100% race fit, he has made a visit to Road America in August to spend time updating himself with Dyson Racing team’s developments since May. He has also taken part in the Silverstone 1000 Km race (the inaugural round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup) in a Lola Aston Martin prototype for Aston Martin Racing so now feels fully race-ready as well as race-fit.
So it is to Road Atlanta, Georgia that he now turns his attention for the ALMS season finale, Petit Le Mans. The 1000 mile, or 10-hour (whichever comes first), race is one of the high points of any sports car driver’s calendar and Meyrick can’t wait to be there as a competitor.
“I went to Petit Le Mans last year as a spectator, just to meet people and to watch,” Andy remembers. “It’s an awesome place! I arrived in the middle of one of the practice sessions and there was Gil de Ferran and David Brabham battling it out in their Acuras. Despite having driven the Audi R10 last year, it was the first time I’d watched a prototype from the outside, as it were, and I hadn’t appreciated just how quick they went. I thought then, that’s where I want to be next year.
“Dyson Racing won the LMP2 class in that 2009 rain-shortened race, making Mazda the only manufacturer to have won both the 24 hours of Le Mans and the Petit Le Mans, although Chris and Guy were officially ‘unclassified’ as the car was running on iso-butanol for the first time.”
Andy continues, “I’m really looking forward to returning to Dyson, and being with Chris and Guy again; it should be good fun. It will, however, be a tough race with Highcroft Racing going for a championship title and the Cytosport Porsche which will be very quick with Luhr, Maassen and Graf. It might be a small class but it’s going to be very competitive.”
As part of his pre-race preparations, Andy will running a half-marathon on Sunday morning (September 26) near his home in Cheshire. “I’ve been training hard but you have to adopt a different approach to when you are racing regularly. You have to structure and plan your training more specifically, especially with leg and neck endurance work although it’s hard to simulate actually being in the car. The best preparation though was racing at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago as not only was there a big field, just like we’re expecting at Petit Le Mans, but it also has a number of high speed corners. I felt really good there so am sure I’ll also be fine at Road Atlanta.”