2014  International & Single Seater News

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



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Andy Meyrick – Bentley Boy or Man? - Bentley Boys deserve a new title! by Rob Allender


Andy Meyrick heads for the Eifel Mountains in Germany for the final round in the 2014 Blancpain Watches Endurance Series, The iRacing.com Nürburgring 1000K race. Andy is proving himself to be a vital part of the M-sport Bentley team, which is on a roll after winning at Silverstone & Paul Ricard in France, and narrowly missing out on a spectacular result in the 24 hr race at Spa in Belgium. This has put the M-sport Bentley team within 11 points of the Pro Cup series leader, The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. So Bentley must win and hope the Audi Club finish 3rd or worse!


The teams‘ success in 2014 has prompted Andy and his team-mates Guy Smith and Steven Kane to be tagged ‘Bentley Boys’. Whilst this may be an easy tag to give them, an examination of the facts, shows this to be lazy journalism, as the old sobriquet is now well out of date!


Andy, orignally born in Swansea, has shown himself be a multi-talented driver having driven both single seaters as well as Sportscars, and through his work with the governing body of British motorsport, the Motor Sport Association (MSA) Andy is helping to develop the next generation of British drivers through the MSA Academy ‘Talent Development Programme’ as a Performance Manager! He has also driven all manner of cars, with only the latest Hybrid Sports Racing cars missing from his C.V. However as Bentley owners, VAG, have a very good hybrid system in their Le Mann winning Audi cars, that gap may soon be filled!


All this is a total contrast to the original ‘Bentley Boys’ most of whom only drove Bentleys. Some were extremely wealthy, others were titled and some are noted simply as ‘playboys’!


 For instance, one of the most successful drivers, Woolf Barnato was the heir to a fortune made by his father, who was a South African diamond magnate! Anxious to get hold of money held in trust, he sued his family for almost a £1 million, a considerable fortune in those days! Having won Le Mans 3 times in a row 1928, 29 & 30, he later found out that the way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a big one, and he lost a considerable amount of money when he bought the Bentley company, which was later swallowed by Rolls Royce. (Having said that Barnarto was obviously a very brave man having served with distinction in both World Wars)


Another of the famous names among the original Bentley Boys was Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin, who was also a 3rd Baronet! Birkin won Le Mans twice, but only one with Bentley, but later as an engineer he helped developed a supercharged car, the ‘Birkin Blower Bentley’. He later won Le Mans again in an Alfa Romeo co-driven by Earl Howe! He was the heir to a lace making fortune centered on Nottingham. However Birkins racing drained the family fortune, before his death from blood poisoning. Birkin too was a war hero, and rose the rank of  Lieutenant  in the Royal Flying Corps, however he contracted malaria whilst serving in Palestine, a disease which may have had a hand in his demise.


Also although todays drivers are renowned for their fitness, the only occasion any of the original Bentley Boys were known to have exercised was when Birkin had to run to the pits to pick up a jack after picking up a puncture!

So Andy & his team mates Guy Smith and Steven Kane deserve a different title, being miles apart from the sometimes louche young men that made up the original ‘Bentley Boys’.
 Maybe a better title for Andy, Guy & Steven would be the ‘New Bentley Boys

Points at a 1000k Race are awarded as follows

  1st 33 points 2nd 24 pts 3rd 19 pts 4th 15 pts  5th 12 pts 6th 9 pts 7th 6pts  8th 4 pts 9th 3 pts 10th 2 pts

Current points Blancpain Endurance Series PRO

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT    89 Points
.  2nd  M-Sport Bentley & Sainteloc Racing  78 Points 4th  ART Grand Prix   69 Points


Bentley Continental GT3 specification from www.bentleymotors.com/world_of_bentley/motorsport/

• Carbon Fibre Chassis

• A race-configured version of Bentley’s highly efficient 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine
• A six-speed sequential racing gearbox • Double wishbone suspension

 • Four-way adjustable dampers • Competition brakes