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Michael Epps rejoins Team HARD for 2017 campaign

Team HARD has confirmed Michael Epps will return for a second successive season in the British Touring Car Championship, switching from a Toyota Avensis to one of the team’s newly-acquired Volkswagen CC machines.

Epps, who scored seven outright points finishes during his maiden campaign and finished as runner-up in the Jack Sears Trophy to MG’s Ashley Sutton, will now have the opportunity to compete using the latest RML control components following a compulsory upgrade prior to this season.

The deal marks the first time in Epps’ career he has remained in a championship for more than a single season.

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“I was a little worried about being a one season wonder in the BTCC, especially being such a tough season with disadvantages and setbacks, but I’m glad I was able to make an impression and create a 2017 campaign out of it.” admitted Epps.

“I can’t forget that Tony (Gilham) has essentially opened the door for me to race in a championship I once only ever looked at as a dream. Now we are set for year number two and I think we have a good chance to make a real impact.

“As anyone would expect with a small budget and a team that aren’t as experienced in my rookie season, there have been lots of challenges and I’m sure there are plenty more ahead. The ingredients are there though; with new cars and more people on-board I think we have every reason to be properly in the mix this time. We definitely outdid our equipment this year.”

“The deal is the right one for us at the end of the day. The team are passionate, they’re loud, and they want success. I have a great relationship with them and I think we’ve got what it takes, this will be the first time I’ve done a second season in any championship too.”

Team Principal Tony Gilham was delighted to secure Epps signature for another season, believing the series sophomore to have been an underrated quantity for most of last campaign.

“We are very proud to have been able to put a package together to retain Mike for 2017. It is important for us to try to keep as much consistency with the team as possible and we have a great foundation on which to build on.

“He had a great season and we believe that next year will be very interesting to see how far up the grid Mike can get. His pace was outstanding last year and he got nowhere near enough credit for his consistent front-running lap times each weekend.”

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