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Andy rounds La Source

Andy Meyrick continues to rack up the points in the 2009 Le Mans series after finishing in sixth place after a sparkling race in the classic 1000K of Spa Francorchamps, in only his second race in the Kolles Audi R10 Tdi last weekend. Sharing driving duties with team mates Charles Zwolsman and Narain Karthikeyan, Meyrick made his first LMS race start and handed over the number 14 car to Zwolsman in seventh place after his racing stint. His team mates completed the remaining laps to bring the car home in sixth place and record the team’s best result of the season so far.

Sharing driving duties with his two team mates, Meyrick had his first taste of Spa-Francorchamps behind the wheel of an LMS car on Friday, with just six laps in wet conditions. Despite completing just one flying lap of dry running Meyrick driving the diesel powered Audi R10 was pitched in at the deep-end, after the Kolles teams practice plans was disrupted by the fickle weather that plaques the Ardennes region, as he explained. "Getting in & out of the pits takes such a long time here, that the team decided that my practice stint would be on the morning of the race, but there was so much fog that the organisers had to cancel the session!" With only a handful of practice laps under his belt, at a track he had never visited before, Meyrick was given the awesome task of starting the car. This was no mean task as a full grid of 51 cars would have to funnel through the La Source hairpin, one of the tightest first corners in the world! However after starting 9th and despite his relative inexperience in the car and the dry conditions, Andy completed some astonishing opening laps and rose as high as 4th overall before an incident following a safety car period forced him into the pits for an unscheduled wheel change. When racing had started again, Meyrick found himself in a three way battle down to the first corner, sandwiched between an Aston Martin and a Pescarolo. Nudged to the left by the other car, he had to brake hard to avoid an accident and flat spotted his tyres in the process. This set up a tremendous vibration and the team switched strategy and brought Andy in for an early pit stop.

Re starting in 14th place, the 23 year-old racer made rapid progress through the field, and after almost 2 hours hours – his longest ever racing stint – Andy had brought the car up to seventh place. Zwolsman later handed over to Karthikeyan, who brought the number 14 car home in sixth place.

Speaking about the weekend, Andy said, "I was really pleased with our progress this weekend. We closed up the gap to the leaders and we worked better as a team. Making my first LMS start at such a big event was quite intimidating at first, but I really enjoyed the challenge. It was the longest I have ever been in a racing car and I’m quite happy that I kept pace with the teams leading drivers. There are a lot of really good drivers in this series, some of whom have raced in Formula 1 and won races, like Oliver Panis. Certainly it was an incident free weekend, much improved from Barcelona, and it was a pretty good result." The points scored puts Andy  into 7th place in the championship. The next race in the season is at the Algarve Motorpark on August 2nd.

http://www.andymeyrick.com           http://www.lemans-series.com

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