MEYRICK HEADING FOR A NEW DAWN WITH DYSON RACING Britain's Andy Meyrick this week heads west from his home in Cheshire, England to prepare for his debut with Dyson Racing in the notoriously demanding 12 Hours of Sebring international sports car...
MEYRICK HEADING FOR A NEW DAWN WITH DYSON RACING
Britain's Andy Meyrick this week heads west from his home in Cheshire, England to prepare for his debut with Dyson Racing in the notoriously demanding 12 Hours of Sebring international sports car race -- the American Le Mans Series' season-opener which kicks off on Saturday, March 20.
The former airfield in central Florida has played host to this endurance classic for 58 years and is one of the most popular events on the sports car calendar, attracting a multitude of competitors and fans from all over the world. It is, however, one of the most testing races for both man and machine due to the extremely bumpy and physically challenging nature of the 17-turn 3.7 mile (5.95 km) circuit.
The 24-year-old driver will be joining the highly experienced duo of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith in the #16 Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupe in the compact, but very competitively-matched, LMP2 class. Andy has tested with Dyson on three different occasions in the run up to the 12 Hours of Sebring so is feeling well acclimatised to the confines of the closed cockpit car, a different environment to the Kolles Audi R10 he drove last year in Europe's Le Mans Series.
"I'm so impressed with the Dyson Lola," said Andy. "and I'm really looking forward to the race. It will be a big challenge for me, but I'm well prepared for it. I'm fortunate to be in the good position of being alongside Chris and Guy who are both very experienced, and I hope to be able to contribute over the week.
"Everyone told me about how bumpy Sebring was, but it wasn't really until about my third lap there that I felt the big bump at Turn 17 and my head hit the roof of the car that I realised exactly how bumpy it was! Turn 1 is incredibly fast and very tight on entry, and there are lots of different corners which test you. Seeing how the track and conditions change so fast, and not even with a full grid of cars there, was definitely an eye opener.
"Sebring will be a race of attrition, I think, so we'll have to be tactical and careful in traffic. Quite apart from myself, there will be a lot of people out there new to it, in the LMPC and GTC classes for example, who don't necessarily know their car so well. That's going to add in a different element to races I've done already."
Andy, a BRDC SuperStar, recently completed an evaluation test in the Oreca LMP1 car during the Le Mans Series official test days in the south of France, thus giving him additional seat time and prototype experience prior to the start of the American Le Mans Series season.