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Pirelli Paddock Pass: Andy Meyrick

This week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass featuring Andy Meyrick…

Photo: Bullitt Racing

Andy Meyrick has competed with Bullitt Racing in the GT4 European Series for the last two years, as part of a rather different program for the Brit since the end of his factory Bentley and DeltaWing programs.

In this week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass, Meyrick talks to Sportscar365 about his experience with the new GT4 team and his other activities, including his director role at the BRDC Superstars program.

What was the reason for moving to GT4 after a successful career in higher categories?

“The reason for going into GT4 was, essentially when I was in the factory Bentley program and finished that, it co-aligned with the start of a new race team being formed, called Bullitt Racing.

“It was a switch in my career from not so much Pro-Pro lineups which I’d been used to from the days with Aston Martin, Bentley and DeltaWing, so it marked a bit of a change in my career to start working on developing other drivers.

“I’ve done a lot of work in the past, and still do, in terms of managing and developing drivers. I suppose, it naturally took its course there. I do a lot of coaching in my role for the BRDC Superstars program and for Motorsport UK’s Team UK program where I look after the elite drivers there.

“When I finished the Bentley program, I was looking for new opportunities and one of those came via Stephen Pattrick, who had been keen for a while to set up a race team. We looked at what category to go to and GT4 ticked all the boxes in that respect.

“It also gave me the freedom to do other programs alongside it. It gave me the freedom to work with Motorsport98 in the LMP3 category for Le Mans Cup and I still am able to compete in GT3, making appearances in the Spa 24 and other races like that.”

Was it difficult to adapt to a slower car than you had been used to?

“At the end of the day, it’s different, but every car is different. If I look at my career, I’ve driven a really wide variety of cars.

“I’ve driven the Aston Martin and Audi LMP1 cars, the DeltaWing, historic Formula 1 and Group C cars as well as modern GT3 and GT4 cars. That goes back even to when I was doing Formula Ford, I’ve always driven lots of different things.

“Actually, I think that adaptability is probably one of my biggest strengths. Even through the period where I was driving in the States and Bentley, I was doing the DeltaWing project at the same time as doing GT3.

“You don’t get any more extremes from driving a DeltaWing to jumping into a big, heavy GT3 car. I wouldn’t say it’s not a challenge, but it’s a challenge that I’m used to and one that I really enjoy.”

What are your thoughts on the GT4 platform and the GT4 European Series itself?

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic. People have been talking for a while that it’s going to replace GT3 and all of that sort of stuff but I actually don’t know if that’s true and I don’t necessarily agree with it.

“I think it’s strong in its own right, GT4, and GT3 is still clearly very strong. I was doing the Spa 24 Hours again this year and the number of cars there is still phenomenal.

“GT4 is very, very good. For the market it is, you’ve got young aspiring Silvers who want to progress their careers so it’s a good place to be where they can get more affordable mileage than doing GT3 racing.

“And also it’s a good place for the amateurs to be. It covers a lot of bases and being on those events, especially for the young aspiring Silvers, really helps.”

Tell us more about your role with the BRDC Superstars program.

“I took over from Tim Harvey at the end of last year, start of this year, to do the direction of that program. We do a lot of different things.

“The Superstars are the 12 best young, aspiring British drivers, and it’s across all categories with motorsport, in terms of circuit racing. We’ve got touring car drivers like Ash Sutton, GT drivers like Seb Morris and Charlie Eastwood, single-seater drivers with Calum Illot, Max Fewtrell.

“It’s really interesting because you’ve got these drivers and they’re all excellent, but they all need support in different areas.We do a mixture between bespoke one-to-one stuff, because what might work for one driver might not work for another.

“Some of them will get sports psychology support, some of them will get fitness support, we’ve had them working with driver coaches like Rob Wilson and Tim Sugden to really work on their driving.

“I think one of the reasons I was taken on to take the role over was because I was a BRDC Superstar when I was younger and you wear that badge with pride.

“Getting the drivers together and feeling part of something, but also learning from one another, that sort of cross development benefit, is huge.”

Are there any changes on the horizon for 2020?

“The plan is to continue with Bullitt: there has been a real development and big growth within the team. Part of my role there has not just been driving but in setting the team up and getting everything together.

“It’s probably going to be a switch of program for Bullitt, but it’s likely to be a step up and look at another series, another program in that.

“I think that program will allow me to be back in Blancpain Endurance full time next year because I haven’t been able to this year with the clashes at the events.

“I finished runner-up in the Pro Cup in Blancpain Endurance two years on the bounce so I want to come back and try and win a title for sure.”

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