Mike Epps is eyeing up a return to the BTCC for a third season in 2018, although he isn’t counting out a potential ride in the inaugural edition of the TCR UK series.
The Hemel Hempstead driver tested TCR machinery in early November when he drove Brisky Racing‘s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR car at Snetterton, where he enjoyed the experience.
“Testing the car at Snetterton, it was just as good overall to drive for me as a BTCC car; it’s a different kind of the same thing really. Maybe it’s a bit easier to drive and car setup is simpler,” said Epps.
“It felt sophisticated, modern, very well put together, and to me seems just as quick on track. The Golf sounded great to me. There’s a certain buzz about driving a BTCC car that maybe it lacks, but the difference in budget would soon sort my view on that. Commercial coverage is what will matter to some drivers and teams and that takes time.”
Team HARD, who have run Epps in his 2 seasons in the BTCC, will be assisting Brisky Racing on their 3 Volkswagen Golf’s in the TCR UK series, set to kick off on 1 April next year, providing Epps with a more familiar environment should he make the jump across from the BTCC.
Nonetheless Epps, who finished seventeenth in his sophomore year in the BTCC with Team HARD, is keen to remain on the UK’s premier touring car grid for 2018, stating his heart “lies with the BTCC”, although he expresses concern over rule changes which are set to make driving standards penalties stricter.
“I worry that some of the new rules introduced within the BTCC may exaggerate some problems. The field is very close and there is always going to be inevitable contact… I respect their ideas and it could settle things down, we will see, but it also raises the risk of having your championship badly affected in the stewards room and that is always a bit of a put off for drivers and teams. Political stories of bans and result changes don’t do much good for anyone.
“I want to continue in BTCC, but whatever I do I need to get up the front end. The last two years have been challenging, I’ve had some great results at points but I need a stronger package around me in 2018 and that’s what I’m currently working towards.”