After his former BTCC squad Team HARD. threw a late lifeline to race his season, Mike Epps started to thank them by coming away from the opening weekend at Brands Hatch sitting in third place in the championship.
Epps jumped in at the deep end with only 1 day of testing at the official media launch before taking to track at the weekend, but he still put his car on the second row of the grid, posting a time just 0.245s adrift of pole man Harry King.
Despite a tricky tyre choice, and ever changing weather for race 1, Epps, managed to get his car home safely in ninth place on the track, but fourth in the Pro class.
For race 2, Epps once again started fourth on the grid. He made one place over the course of the race to come in third, just 0.306s behind Reece Somerfield, who in turn was 12 seconds behind King.
The reverse grid draw saw Epps third on the grid, but it was a place he couldn’t hold, and crossed the line in fourth place, his second of the weekend.
“I’m pleased, we’ve done a pretty good job.” said Epps. “There was definitely more to come from it and some of the weekend was a gamble with the weather.
“I brought my rear tyres in a little too quick in qualifying and got held up a couple of times out there. I’m glad to be this competitive with not much running, I’m sure with each new tyre run we do, our one-lap pace will improve.”
“The racing was great! Especially in wet and slippery conditions, you can just hustle these cars around. I don’t think our pace was reflected so well in Sunday’s dry race as we went the wrong direction with set up and tyre life wasn’t too great, but we held onto some good points with fourth and bagged our first podium in the wet on Saturday. Great result for the whole team.”
“Now we have a chance to go back and improve a few things having had some proper time in the car. We know where our mistakes were and where improvements can be made, we’re in the ball park and I’m looking forward to gunning for better results in the coming races.”
“A massive thank you to Tony Gilham and Team Hard Racing for throwing me a line after what has been a pretty dismal Winter for me and my family. Tony’s aspirations are always high and I’ll be doing everything to get the results everyone wants.”
“It’s no secret that a full season isn’t secured for me, so I’m just happy to have made it to the first weekend. We will need to raise a lot of budget still to complete the year at the moment, we’re pushing hard to find the right partners and good results should only help us to do that.”