Andy Meyrick’s CV is exhausting, it reads as a who’s who of the racing world. From being a BRDC superstar and member of MSA British Race Elite, to today racing in two of the worlds most exciting endurance racing championships – the highly competitive 2013 Blancpain Endurance and the American Le Mans Series in the world famous DeltaWing with DeltaWing Racing. Andy Meyrick is a British Sports car driver who it would seem, has arrived.
I managed to chat to Andy whilst he was in his car on the way to an event and I knew within minutes of talking that this was a down to earth, approachable guy with a straight forward approach to racing and this industry as a whole.
In my mind I expected Andy to have been racing since birth, I was ready to hear all the stories of pushy parents, childhood dreams and hopes of being a racing driver, but Andy squashed that in a heart beat with a simple ‘I never wanted to be a driver’. In fact Andy Meyrick used to be a footballer and had a contract with Bolton Wanders for 4 years, which came to an end. Again not your usual beginners story for someone who is now one of the UKs finest race drivers with no pushy parent in sight.
Andy grew up near Oulton Park Circuit and his Dad used to race in the 70s and 80s but that’s it, perhaps you could say it was in his blood or perhaps you could say this is someone who thrives on being involved in sport and combined with an outlook of fun and youth on his side, this could have been the success formula needed to leave behind one career at 19 and go head first into another.
I personally like meeting people who don’t go about things the usual way, who have to graft and take a risk. I feel Andy embodies this. In short, Andy saved to buy a Formula Ford Reynard and started racing alongside his mate. Having won the title in North West Formula Ford Championship in 2005, he embarked in domestic racing in Formula Ford and BARC Formula Renault. Sadly, Andy became seriously ill with a brain virus which stopped him from racing for several months. This, I feel shows someone who has the driver’s mentality for survival and focus to carry on despite at times seemingly unfair obstacles put in the way.
Andy came into his own when getting a clean bill of health, and went on year after year with, in Andys own words, ‘satisfaction’ after every race. Translated this means Andy has not only raced in Le Mans with Kolles including a great result of 4th place at Nurburgring and 3 top six finishes from 5 races. Going into the following year with the American Le Mans Series with Dyson Racing, in 2011 lets throw in having a MSA Team UK coaching role, two VLN Championship races for Aston Martin Racing achieving 2nd place finishes in both, a one off at the Silverstone Classic F1 races where 2 pole positions and 2 victories were notched up. We haven’t even started talking about his 2012 success. I know if I achieved half of this I would probably be selling flashing t-shirts listing every triumph and penning the first of my autobiographies whilst waiting for my perfume to launch….but not Andy…and it’s this down to earth manner, perhaps typical of his northern roots (he’s from Cheshire) that has kept him so focused that his success has grown year after year with so much more than just ‘satisfaction’.
Andy is aware that the industry is changing though. The sport needs to be enjoyable for him and he fully acknowledges that luck has played a part in his success but with this comes the advice of ‘don’t look too far ahead’. ‘The industry is changing’ Andy says, ‘there is less politics nowadays in football compared to motorsport but this is a modern day sport so young drivers need to be aware that sponsorship plays a huge part in this industry now’. Andy tells me he is from the ‘Jason Plato school of motorsport’ and back when he started he perhaps wasn’t as aware of brand image and the power that drivers had then especially compared to now. I also admire that, with this wealth of industry experience Andy is now giving back to this sport and managing an up and coming driver, whom I feel we will definitely be seeing more of in the future.
As Andy’s car pulls up to his event, he tells me about looking forward and how he would love to one day race in the Indy 500, but after enjoying his ‘best stint’ aboard DeltaWing at Lime Rock I feel that Andy Meyrick’s star will keep on rising and I can’t wait to see what he can do next.
If you do see Andy though in said flashing t-shirt flogging his perfume, don’t blame me, just think of it as the mother ship arriving home 😉
Read more about Andy here – www.andymeyrick.com
www.gulfracing.com and www.deltawingracing.com or tweet him @AndyMeyrick