British sportscar racing driver Andy Meyrick fulfilled a dream this weekend (23-26 January) when he competed in the world-famous Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and, although he didn’t come home with a new watch on his wrist, the 28-year old from Chester was wearing a smile.
Andy was at the opening round of the inaugaural Tudor United Sportscar Championship (TUSC) with DeltaWing Racing, the team that he contested the highly-competitive American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with last year.
Although the DeltaWing’s race was cut short by a transmission issue, it managed to complete 288 laps of the 3.56-mile long Daytona International Speedway and 16 hours of grueling racing.
Andy raced this weekend with 2013 team-mate Katherine Legge (GB) and new-comers to the car Alexander Rossi (USA) and Gabby Chaves (USA). Together they raced the team’s new DeltaWing Coupe, designed for use in the new TUSC series and, although Andy had driven the car in the final three rounds of the 2013 ALMS, he said it was like a new car following his work with the team to develop it over the winter.
“The way that this car has developed is incredible and a real testament to the team, it’s like a new car”, he comments. “To take a revolutionary concept, unlike anything else, and develop it into a real race-contender in 12 months is incredible. I thought that the trajectory of improvement seen last year would start to level off but I don’t think any of us in the team will be happy until we are winning races. I honestly don’t think that is too far away.”
Although Andy has driven in many 24-hour races including 24 Hours of Le Mans and Spa 24 Hours, the 24 Hours of Daytona was a new challenge for him. More importantly, it was the first 24-hour race for the DeltaWing.
"Everyone has dealt with the challenge of our first 24 hour race together as a team with a terrific spirit,” he explains. “The car ran very well, so it was disappointing not to finish, especially given how hard the team worked. This is a very different race from the other 24-hour races, mostly due to the sheer number of cars. You literally could do a double stint and not get a single clean lap. It’s tough on the driver, because you’re constantly in traffic."
Follow Andy’s progress on his website www.andymeyrick.com/news and on Twitter using @andymeyrick