MEYRICK ROBBED OF TOP SIX CHANCE Andy Meyrick had the speed to join the frontrunners in the opening round of the revitalised UK Formula Ford Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Saturday, but he ultimately had to settle for eighth place...
MEYRICK ROBBED OF TOP SIX CHANCE
Andy Meyrick had the speed to join the frontrunners in the opening round of the revitalised UK Formula Ford Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Saturday, but he ultimately had to settle for eighth place after being shoved into a spin on the opening lap.
Overall it was a frustrating first day for Meyrick. When he joined Cliff Dempsey Racing to contest the UK FFord series, he knew that he would be up against vastly more experienced drivers and deliberately set cautious targets for his initial races. But impressive speed in recent tests had raised Andy's expectations, and he was downcast after qualifying eighth on the competitive 25-car grid.
"I'm really disappointed," Meyrick admitted. "After testing I expected more. I didn't get a decent lap in at the start when the tyres were at their best. The main problem was through the chicanes -- I kept getting sideways on the way in and then couldn't get the power down smoothly.
"All the guys ahead of me are quick drivers, but I wanted to be at the front of the lead group, not behind them. I'm probably more disappointed because it's Oulton, my home track. But I know a few racing tricks around here that should help me make up places this afternoon."
Meyrick was able to put those overtaking skills to good use in the race, but sadly his passing moves were carried out as part of a recovery drive rather than a charge to the podium. He leapt to seventh at the start and felt he could make further progress, only to be tapped into a spin the super-fast Druids corner further around the opening lap.
"The guy behind me just went into the corner too hot," Meyrick said. "There was no way he was actually going to pass me. I was really lucky not to hit anything."
He managed to control the spin and rejoin having only fallen to 15th place. Meyrick then wasted little time in hacking through the midfield, and by lap four he was back in the top ten. He quickly dived past the co-operative Stuart Gough into the second chicane to secure ninth place, but while Meyrick had been busy recovering lost ground, the lead pack had been able to escape.
"I could see the next group of cars in the distance and I was able to match their pace, but they were just too far in front," Andy said. "I'd pulled away from Stuart so over the last few laps I just focused on getting to the finish, because at this time of year it's important to finish races and pick up points. But it's such a disappointing start to the championship, especially as I'd already made up a place off the line."
At least the championship format gives Meyrick an early chance to make amends, as the second round takes place at Oulton on Easter Monday. He will start eighth again, but if he is allowed to complete the first lap uninterrupted, he has every chance of getting amongst the frontrunners in the race.