A right rear puncture robbed Andy Meyrick of a top ten finish in the final stages of round five of the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Spa-Francorchamps at the weekend (23/34 September).
The BRDC Member and team-mate Daniel Schneider got the weekend off to a good start, finishing the first Free Practice session seventh fastest, despite three red flags interrupting the hour-long session. Declaring themselves happy with the car setup, the duo sat out the second practice, only completing handful of laps to set the pit timer.
Qualifying started in damp conditions, but with the track drying throughout, it was the case that the last cars on the track would set the fastest times. That proved to be true, with Daniel setting his best lap on his last tour to go seventh fastest, meaning the number 32 car lined up on the fourth row of the grid for the 1 hour 50-minute race.
With the rain returning later that afternoon, the race got underway behind the Safety Car, with the green flag being waved at start of the fourth lap. Daniel dropped to a few places in the opening stages where it was a case of keeping the car on track as others fell afoul of the conditions. The Safety Car was again called, neutralising the race for a further six laps, giving Daniel just two further laps of racing before he pitted from 12th to hand over to Andy.
After a minor delay during the stop executed by the United Autosports team, Andy re-joined in 22nd but made rapid progress over to climb to tenth position. When all the pit stops had played out he found himself involved in an intense battle for seventh, running nose-to-tail with Colin Noble, Marc Basseng, and Malthe Jakobsen.
Another Safety Car was called for on lap 24, returning to green flag conditions shortly thereafter, but there would be calamity as the Andy car picked up a puncture after the right rear Michelin tyre ran over debris, dropping the car down the order and requiring a pit stop for fresh rubber. Doing all he could, Andy crossed the line 22nd, a disappointing end to after what could have been a good haul of points.
Andy, Daniel, and the United Autosports team will now focus on the final race of the 2022 Michelin Le Mans Cup season on the 15/15 October at the Portuguese venue of Portimao.
“On the whole, the result was disappointing, but the weekend started okay. At the end of Free Practice One we were seventh fastest, so we were running with good pace. We spent the time working on setup and the car was looking good and Daniel was doing a really good job. We sat out Free Practice Two because we were happy with the car, so we just did in and outs to set the pit timer up. Daniel then had a mega qualifying, his best qualifying to date, doing a fantastic job in tricky conditions.
“In the race, Daniel started and did well in wet conditions which were really treacherous. The car was good but when I got in we had a slight delay on the pitstop which was which dropped us down a bit. When we came out of the pits we had good pace and we were fighting for a top six until we got the puncture, which was really disappointing. It looks like we picked up some debris on track and got the puncture, so it is what it is. Now we’ve got to focus on Portimao and finishing the season strong.”