Cheshire-born Bentley Boy Andy Meyrick has successfully completed one of the most gruelling endurance races in the world, the ADAC Zurich 24 Hour Race at the world's longest and hardest racetrack, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Making his debut in the race, Andy and his Bentley Motorsport team had hoped for a top ten finish with their fast and reliable Continental GT3 - but luck wasn't on his side. After teammate Guy Smith had moved in to the top ten on track having started P20, towards the end of Guy's double stint he was hit from behind by a competitor who misjudged their braking, sending Guy in to the barriers. It took nearly five hours to recover the car and repair the destroyed front left suspension, dropping the team from competitive contention.
However, all was not lost, and the team took the opportunity to gain experience, data and knowledge for the future. Andy's second teammate, Irishman Steven Kane, returned the car to the track with 17 hours still to run, and Andy took over for a double stint at 01:30. Andy drove a flawless stint through the night, completing 18 laps of the 25 km circuit, and continued his precise, fast progress in daytime stints on Sunday. The efforts of Andy, Steven and Guy resulted in a gain of 72 places before the chequered flag fell, with the British Racing Green Bentley eventually finishing P74.
Speaking after the race, Andy said:"This wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but there are actually loads of positives to take out of this weekend. We’ve developed a great setup, we had no reliability issues at all, and all three of us now have proper experience of racing here in the dark. That gives me confidence that with a little more luck, we can really take the race to the established competition here.”
Andy's next race is this coming weekend, where he returns to the home of British Motorsport - Silverstone - for the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Having won the race last year, Andy is hoping for a good weekend: "Silverstone last year was the scene of our first victory with the Bentley, and we scored second-in-class in Monza a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping we can continue our form in front of all the home fans."