Andy Meyrick insisted it was an unbelievable feeling to take the chequered flag as the top petrol-runner in the Le Mans 24 Hours after the Briton was given the honour of running the final stint for Oreca on his debut in the race.
Meyrick missed out on the event last season when it wasn't part of his programme with the Kolles Audi team but secured a plum seat for 2010 alongside Didier Andre and Soheil Ayari in the Oreca-AIM, which the team was running alongside a Peugeot 908 HDI.
Although the car suffered its fair share of problems during the race, Meyrick and his team-mates were able to battle hard for a fourth place finish which provided some reason to cheer for the French team after its Peugeot retired late on.
“As I was getting ready to get into the car for that final stint, the other Oreca car, the Peugeot, had retired so everyone was crying in the garage as they were pushing for the podium,” Meyrick said. “Then Hugues de Chaunac was saying to me, 'You are our only chance of a result here now so do a good job'.
“To finish top petrol is unbelievable. The start of the race wasn't perfect, and we had a starter motor issue with about 90 minutes to go which was a bit tricky but it was fixed very, very quickly as you'd expect from the ORECA team. We've all put a lot of work into this but I'm really happy with the outcome, as you'd expect.
“I was lucky enough to be driving the car at the end of the race which is a huge honour, especially for a Briton in a French team. For Hugues de Chaunac to give me the opportunity to do that, as a rookie, to bring the car home at my first Le Mans in front of 1600 or so guests and a huge number of people from the factory, is fantastic.”
Team boss de Chaunac was delighted with the performance of his rookie driver and said he was pleased to have been able to hand him his Le Mans debut.
“Andy really had a great week because Le Mans is very difficult for someone who is a debutant,” he said. “It's not easy for him to come into a French team and integrate, but the guy is nice and the driver has performed. He did a great job and was very good and listened to everything we said; something we really appreciated from him.
“He's also very motivated and focused on the target, how the team is working, and what we are expecting from the drivers. He has a good understanding of what a driver has to do. He's not made any mistakes and he's quick so I'm very pleased to have discovered Andy.”