Team HARD have confirmed that Michael Epps will continue with the team in the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The 24-year-old finished second to Ashley Sutton in the Jack Sears Trophy in his maiden BTCC campaign, earning seven overall points finishes in a solid campaign.
Epps will switch from the Toyota Avensis to a Volkswagen CC in 2017, as team boss Tony Gilham confirmed that the VWs will upgrade to RML specification parts and the new TOCA engine next season.
“You know, I was a little concerned about being a one season wonder in the BTCC, especially being such a tough season, but I’m glad I was able to make an impression and create a 2017 campaign out of it,” said Epps.
“Tony (Gilham) has essentially opened the door for me to race in a championship I once never really considered as a possibility. Now we are set for year number two and I think we have a good chance to make a real impact.
“As anyone would expect, with a small budget and as part of one of the younger teams on the grid in my rookie season, there have been many challenges and I’m expecting there to be plenty more ahead too. The ingredients are there though; with the new cars and more people on-board I think we should be properly in the mix this time. We definitely outdid our equipment this year.”
“The deal is the right one for us at the end of the day. The team are passionate, they’re loud, and they want success. I have a great relationship with them and I think we’ve got what it takes, this will be the first time I’ve done a second season in any championship too.”
Team HARD principal, Gilham, said: “We are very proud to have been able to put a package together to retain Mike for 2017. It is important for us to try to keep as much consistency with the team as possible and we have a great foundation on which to build on.
“He had a great season and we believe that next year will be very interesting to see how far up the grid Mike can get. His pace was outstanding last year and got nowhere near enough credit for his consistent front running lap times each weekend.”