SURPRISE package Andy Meyrick enjoyed a dream start to the Formula Three season on his home circuit.
The Delamare racer, 22, took double pole position and led from the front to win the opening two national rounds of the British F3 Championship at Oulton Park.
Meyrick first climbed into a racecar aged 19, but has caused a big stir in his first three seasons, encouraging top F3 team Carlin Motorsport to take a gamble on him.
And it is a case of so far so good after he put in a commanding performance at Oulton Park.
Meyrick said: “Carlin is a top team and we always planned to challenge for first. All through official testing we have been the fastest and we just had to translate that to the race.
“Taking pole made life easier because I didn’t have to chase anything, I could drive my own race and in the first round I comfortably outpaced the field.
“In the second there was a safety car incident which compacted the field which made life a little more difficult but I still managed to bring it home first.”
The British F3 Championship is the UK’s leading single-seater series. It is split into two classes – international and national – and Meyrick is competing in one of Carlin’s two national cars.
The young driver, who races under the Welsh flag of his parents’ homeland, began his meteoric rise in 2005 when he won the North West Formula Ford 1,600 Championship in his first season as a rookie.
He won that and progressed to Formula Renault, UK Formula Ford, the Formula Renault Winter Cup and even raced at the infamous German circuit, the Nurburgring, in a 1976 March Formula One car in the FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix.
This brought the former Helsby High and Chester King’s School pupil to the attention of Hampshire-based Carlin, who signed him up just after last Christmas for this season’s campaign.
Meyrick admitted: “I had a plan to get to Formula Three and to be honest it has all come about ahead of schedule.
“Most drivers spend their lives from aged eight racing karts, then take a few years getting used to cars before getting to the professional stage.
“I was always playing catchup but here I am and I have started brilliantly.”
Frodsham’s Jamie Jardine also got his single-seater season under way at Oulton Park at the weekend, but in the three-race first round of the British Formula Ford Championship he claimed 12th in the first race and 15th in the third for his Acer team. He did not finish the second race.