Michael Epps was left ecstatic following last weekends British Touring Car Championship meeting at Snetterton, as the RCIB Insurance Racing driver claimed the first Jack Sears Trophy honors of his fledgling career behind the wheel of the Toyota Avensis.
Ironically, the triple header in Norfolk was one of the rare occasions this season Epps failed to make a statement to the rest of the field, with contact in all three races preventing the Team HARD driver from making progress across the weekend. Nevertheless, consistency along with some misfortune for his class rivals ensured he left the circuit on top of the rookie pile after an eventful weekend.
Qualifying proved equally frustrating for the 24-year old, with only 20th as the reward. Having finished the first half of the season near the sharp end of the Dunlop ‘Forever Forward’ standings, aimed at celebrating drivers who gain the most positions across each race weekend, the pace in the Avensis was evident, but ultimately went unrewarded.
A challenge for the points-scoring positions on the opening lap of the weekend was quickly curtailed with contact at Riches on lap two, dropping Epps back to 20th. Further contact in the second and third races ensured 19th would be the best result of the weekend for the #12 car.
Regardless of the frustrations during the races, Epps underlined his delight at finally sharing the podium with some of the biggest names in UK motorsport, and admitted the celebrations had somewhat sweetened the sour points of the weekend.
“To step onto the podium, receive my first trophy in the BTCC and spray champagne with Gordon Shedden, Rob Collard and Rob Austin is pretty incredible, and just the end to the weekend we needed after a pretty atrocious three races,” he admitted.
“It was one of those weekend’s that really didn’t go to plan; we got fired off-circuit in each of the races and really weren’t able to showcase the progress we’ve made with the car during the summer test and then the two free practice sessions yesterday.”
However, he remains confident in the cars capabilities as the circuits heads next to Knockhill in a fortnight for it’s annual trip across the Scottish border.
“We showed strong pace whenever we got the chance to in the races and quickly closed the gaps back to the pack after the contact, but we didn’t get the opportunity to run inside the pack and fight our way to some overall points finishes.
“We had everything there to do so though and that means I’m heading to Knockhill with a smile on my face. I’m going there a bit blind, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and learning the circuit.”