VW Cup Ace Epps To Pilot Third Team HARD Avensis In 2016 BTCC

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Michael Epps will graduate into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this season in the third Team HARD Toyota Avensis.

Epps moves up to the championship following a season in the Volkswagen Racing Cup with the Kent-based outfit, joining former BTCC points finisher Jake Hill under the RCIB Insurance Racing banner.

This follows the news earlier this week that the team had acquired a third TOCA BTCC License (TBL) for the upcoming campaign, with the fellow BTCC newcomer Chris Smiley driving the other car.

Epps enjoyed an impressive first campaign in tin-top racing last season in the VW Cup, winning five of the final eight races of the year including a standout double success at Spa-Francorchamps.

The former single-seater racer was previously announced to be returning to the VW Cup this season, but a late deal has seen him become part of Team HARD’s touring car entry.

The team are currently hard at work getting the second and third Avensis’ built and hope to have them all running at the BTCC Media Day on Tuesday (22nd March).

“It’s probably the most exciting time in my career so far, I could only really dream of a BTCC seat at one point in my career and now it’s really happening, I’m struggling to take it in!” said Epps.

“I think me and my two teammates Jake and Chris can look forward to a challenging season with much to learn. The aim is obviously to get as high up as possible, but with the current situation of cars changing packages and lots of money being spent, you just never know. I’m optimistic and hoping to be bringing home points.

“There was a prospect of driving in BTCC from the very beginning of my relationship with Team Hard and RCIB, but over the winter we have come closer and closer to actually being able to make a deal work. The opportunity presented itself and we had to grab it and work it into this. And now, here we are! I can’t wait to go blasting up to Paddock Hill on that first weekend at Brands.

“I want to express a huge thanks to RCIB for being behind this campaign, not forgetting Panda Racing, Adidas, Simply Race and Anytime Fitness. I’m hugely grateful for their ongoing support and this year is the time to really pay it back.”

*You can find out more about Michael Epps’ journey to the BTCC by reading our in-depth interview with him from October, in which he discusses his VW Cup campaign and his decision to move away from single-seaters.*

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Simon is an experienced journalist and PR officer, who has worked in the national motorsport paddocks for over a decade, primarily on the BTCC support package.
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