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Andy onnoard Aston Martin AM-one.jpg (199332 bytes) 2011  International & Single Seater News

News of young WRDA members who are competing in the International & Single Seater arena.

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Andy Meyrick- Gulf Aston Martin.jpg (16290 bytes) Andy Meyrick gets ready for the Le Mans 24hrs race (lPhoto left -Andy in Gulf Aston Martin Colours)

WRDA member Andy Meyrick is getting set for the Le Mans 24 race next weekend 11/12 June as part of the Gulf Oil -Aston Martin team looking to triumph in the Le Mans 24hs race, the endurance race that is one of motor sports Premier league events. Andy was doing pre-race testing at Monza in Italy with the Aston Martin team prior to the cars journey to Le Mans for scrutiny & qualifying , and said "Finger crosssed that we can get into one of the podium positions at the end of our race, but it’s been a huge undertaking with the new car. Obviously we are not where we want to be in terms of performance but we have made good progress on all fronts, and we are hoping to put on a good show on at Le Mans. I feel the key to Le Mans is to be methodical in your approach and to be there at the end. It’s definitely the crown jewel that everyone aspires to claim – whether you’re a driver, a mechanic or a team owner. In my mind, Le Mans is the toughest, and definitely the greatest, race in the world and emotionally it’s the most incredible experience and challenge you can go through."

The Aston Martin AMR-One car Andy will be driving is an all new concept from the ground upwards featuring an open cockpit Carbon fibre monocoque chassis and a new purpose-designed in-line six cylinder turbocharged race engine, built with the sole purpose of winning the race outright. As part of a 2 car attack, joining Andy on the driver line up for the 009 car will be Mexican Adrian Fernandez & Swiss driver Harold Primat. In the 007 car the drivers are British driver Darren Turner , Stefan Mücke from Germany and Christian Klein from Austria.

Andys Aston Martn le mans 2011.jpg (258829 bytes) 009 goes through Le Mans scrutiny (photo presse aco)

Aston Martin have had a lot of successes in the GT classes at Le Mans in recent years but their first and only outright victory at Le Mans was in 1959 with the DBR1 of Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby.

With the team opting for a petrol power for the all new car the odds seem to be stacked against them as diesel engined cars have won 9 of the last 10 races run.

However changes to the regulations have given Aston Martins hope that they will be able to repeat the last win for a petrol engined car by Bentley in 2003, which was also the last time a British driver won in a British car, with Guy Smith as part of the driving team. Audi have won 8 of the last 10 races with Peugeot winning in 2009. Peugeot will be out to avenge their disastrous showing in 2010 when none of their cars finished; leaving Audi to take the top 3 places. It was left to Andy Meyrick to salvage some French pride by bringing the Team ORECA Matmut car to a 4th place finish. In doing so he finished as top rookie and took the honour of being the first petrol-powered car behind the three Audi diesels.

Aston Martin Chairman and Welsh racing boss, Dave Richards of Prodrive fame, is hoping Andy can do the same for his team this year, and he said: "Having won the GT category twice at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series outright in 2009, we still want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the 24 Hour race overall to bring the title back to Britain.

"In recent years, it has been impossible for petrol cars to compete on equal terms with the diesels. However, we now have assurances from the ACO that, with the adoption of the 2011 regulations, they will properly balance the performance of these new cars. Under these circumstances we have been prepared to develop Aston Martin’s first purpose-built racing chassis and engine for more than 50 years. Even with this new car, it will still be a ‘David and Goliath’ fight against the massive resources of our competitors, but we have become accustomed to this and relish the challenge."

The preparation for the event starts for Aston Martin with Scrutiny followed by Practice & Qualifying on Wednesday & Thursday with the race starting at 3p.m on Saturday.

Aston Martin Racing (best in Firefox or I/E 8)




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