Michael Epps is making his final preparations ahead of his assault on the 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship with PRL Motorsports, the 20 year old’s maiden season racing in America.
Epps took some time out during a short break back in the UK to talk to The Checkered Flag about the upcoming season, his reasons for moving to the states and his thoughts on the ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ ladder.
The British racer heads back to America towards the end of this month, with some testing scheduled ahead of the opening rounds of the championship at the iconic Sebring International Raceway on March 14/15, the weekend of Epps’ 21st birthday.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend,” Epps told TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk. “2013 has been quite slow so far and I can’t wait for that first rolling start now. It’s my birthday on the first weekend too so the whole experience is sure to be amazing. I feel I have a chance to score well, which obviously excites me even more.”
Although the Formula Renault BARC graduate sees the move into the championship’s Van Diemen car as a ‘sidestep’ rather than a step forward in terms of the machinery he’s competing in, he regards the move into USF2000 as a huge leap forward due to exposure he’ll receive from it.
The opening rounds will see Epps compete in support of the American Le Mans Series, with later rounds in the season seeing him also compete on support packages for Indycar and Grand-Am, a massive improvement from the small crowds present at the club race meetings Formula Renault BARC headlined last season.
“Being on such popular packages is going to be great, I’ve had people telling me about how big the crowds are at some of the street races. I think it’ll really boost publicity for my career and pursuit of moving up in the future and that’s invaluable to any driver.”
While Epps has hopes of some strong results in America, he is not setting himself any specific targets for the season.
“If you say you’re going to do something, you put the pressure on to do it. I’d rather be settled and accepting, enjoying what I’m doing, rather than putting a lot of pressure on myself like a lot of others do. We’re just going to do our best through the season and I just can’t wait to get out there now. I’m a bit of the underdog at the moment and that’s where I want to be.”
Epps discusses the draw of USF2000 and the ‘Road to Indy’ scholarship scheme: