British sportscar racer Andy Meyrick played a starring role in the first round of the 2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup (MLMC) at Paul Ricard in France, on his return to the series with United Autosports last weekend.
After two years away from prototypes, Meyrick demonstrated searing pace throughout a promising first round with his new team and co-driver Daniel Schneider in the LMP3 class.
The Director of the BRDC Superstars programme also revelled in the latest Nissan-powered Ligier JS P320 car, making its MLMC debut, leading an eventful race and setting a sequence of fastest race laps on his way to a top six finish.
Having set the pace in free practice – where incidentally Meyrick recorded the fastest lap of the entire weekend (1m48.709s) – LMP3 rookie Schneider qualified a creditable sixth on the grid for the two-hour race.
Prior to the start, the organisers elected to add an additional mandatory pitstop alongside the standard 2m30s driver change, creating a random element to proceedings. Having run a competitive seventh in the initial stages, the British-based team rolled the dice and called Schneider into the pits during an early Safety Car period to swap drivers on lap five.
This dropped Meyrick – a former MLMC race-winner – to the back of the field, whereupon he staged a stunning fightback in an effort to snatch track position. In just 16 laps he went from 21st and 14th in the LMP3 class to the lead of the race. And, once out front, Meyrick then established his position with a sequence of four straight fastest laps, the quickest of which was ultimately only 0.080s shy of the race’s best mark.
Meyrick handed the car back to Schneider with 25 laps to go, relinquishing the lead, and with the car out of sequence and following an additional stop for fuel, the Brazilian did well to bring it home sixth on his debut.
“I’m very pleased with this opening weekend,’” said Andy. “I think the promise and the pace we’ve shown bodes very well for the rest of the season. United Autosports has a well-established pedigree and the work they’ve done to develop the new Ligier JS P320 is clear to see.
“Daniel did a fantastic job on his prototype debut. To be so solid and consistent on your first race in one of these cars is not easy and his performance was very impressive. It was a great feeling to lead the race, and to be able to set such a strong pace makes me really excited as we look forward to Spa-Francorchamps. This has the potential to be a great season!”