Team HARD‘s Michael Epps said that he felt more comfortable battling towards the sharp end of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship field after a career-best weekend at Brands Hatch.
A regular contender for Jack Sears Trophy honours during his rookie season last year, Epps enjoyed his best BTCC weekend to date with a 10th and two ninth-place finishes in the opening meeting of the season at the Kent circuit.
Epps enters Donington Park lying 10th in the Drivers’ Championship and fifth in the Independents’ standings, one spot ahead of triple champion Matt Neal in the overall table.
“We’ve got a hat-trick of top 10 finishes under our belt, but now we want to push for more next time out”, enthused Epps when speaking to The Checkered Flag, saying that set-up changes were frequent over the season opener.
“We made lots of changes to the car set-up across the weekend, but the car was strong every time we went out on track. We didn’t get to show our true potential in qualifying, but we were able to really battle hard in the races and take the results we deserved. “
The Team HARD driver also found himself battling with different opposition towards the sharper end of the field. Embroiled in several scraps with proven race winners, Epps said that he felt more comfortable racing with more experienced front-runners.
“I’ve had some good battles all day”, added Epps. “I had a cracker with [Tom] Chilton early in the day and the fight with Ingram was even better. I tried passing around the outside a lot – finally it worked!
“I feel that now I’m battling further up the field with people like them, I’m able to really fight hard unlike before.”
Despite a consistent showing, Epps still felt there was room for improvement at a Donington Park circuit more likely to suit the Volkswagen CC chassis.
“I don’t think the track really came to the car as much as it looked”, he added, “so I’m hoping that it will feel a lot better when I get to Donington with new spring set-up. I think we were a bit weak on our soft tyre runs, so that’s what we need to work harder on next time.
“It’s always been quite close to the mark, so it’s about finding that little secret that we’re close to.”