British sportscar racer Andy Meyrick ended his 2021 Michelin Le Mans Cup season with a strong top-ten finish in the series finale at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal, on Sunday.
Meyrick, who shares the Nissan-powered #32 United Autosports Ligier JS P320 LMP3 prototype with Brazilian driver Daniel Schneider, delivered a typically tenacious performance to ensure the duo rounded their campaign off with a competitive seventh place finish in the two-hour race.
In their second season together in the class, Meyrick and Schneider have frequently shown the potential to be podium finishers in 2021, and Portimão was no exception as they set the third fastest time in the official pre-event test.
Qualifying didn’t quite go the way Schneider has intended, and the duo lined up 17th on the grid, but that swiftly became 15th when two cars ahead of them had issues before the start of the race.
Schneider was confident he could make up ground early on and delivered a strong start, avoiding the first-lap chaos to make his way up to 13th by the end of the opening lap. Maintaining a good pace, the Brazilian was then able to run mid-pack and benefit from the misfortune of cars ahead, one of which was penalised while another spun into the gravel.
That incident triggered a Full Course Yellow (FCY) on lap 22, 10 minutes before Schneider’s compulsory driving time was to be complete. The team rolled the dice anyway and decided to bring him in from seventh place, allowing Meyrick to protect track position, build in an undercut and potentially take advantage if the race was neutralised again.
It nearly worked, but the FCY ended too soon for Meyrick to enjoy its full benefit. Undeterred, he put the hammer down and charged his way back up the field from 20th place, picking cars off regularly and moving up the order as strategies played out.
By the time Meyrick was required to pit again to allow Schneider to complete his driving time, with nine laps to go, he was second on the road having run solidly in the top six. That final pitstop dropped the duo back down the order, but as others around them pitted to do the same thing, Schneider quickly found himself back inside the top ten.
Seventh position was a meritorious result and no less than Meyrick, Schneider and the United Autosports team deserved after a long season of hard work and promise.
“We looked like we had the potential to deliver a strong result from the start of the weekend,” said Meyrick, “and to be honest we did just that in the race. Had the chips fallen slightly differently today we may have finished even further up the field. But it was another solid top-ten result and that is a satisfying way to wrap up the season.
“Daniel drove very well in the race and put us in a solid position to fight up the order when I got in the car. My stint was trouble-free and I enjoyed driving a car, which as ever, was impeccably prepared by United Autosports. This second season alongside Daniel has been immensely fun, and I think we’ve proved that we have the potential to achieve even more in the future.”
Details of Meyrick’s next race outing will be confirmed in due course.