Mike Epps suffered a meeting to forget in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton this weekend (05/06 May) as struggles with car set-up left him missing out on the points positions as he battled to a best finish of eighteenth.
Epps headed to Hampshire hopeful of a positive weekend after enjoying his best meeting of the 2016 season at the high-speed circuit, but it became apparent from the off that the 25 year old would be facing an uphill struggle during the third outing of the campaign.
Having missed the crucial pre-event test session at the circuit last month due to accident damage sustained at Donington Park, Epps and his Team HARD engineers were left to try and perfect the set-up on his Volkswagen CC across Saturday’s two free practice sessions.
Epps worked his way to within a second of the ultimate pace for the first time in qualifying, but that was still only enough for twentieth on the grid during a competitive session, leaving the Hemel Hempstead racer needing to go on the offensive come raceday.
The Anytime Fitness, Simply Race and iPro Sport supported driver would endure a nightmare start to the opening encounter however, with a clutch problem causing him to stall on the line and drop him to last position, from which he would battle back to P25 at the finish.
With the car still not responding to set-up changes as hoped, it would continue to be a struggle across the remaining two races as Epps fought to eighteenth and twentieth place finishes in his Auto Aid/RCIB Insurance Racing machine.
Epps has slipped to seventeenth in the overall championship standings and ninth in the Independents Trophy ahead of the next rounds of the season at Oulton Park in Cheshire in a fortnights’ time (05/06 May).
Mike Epps: “There’s a lot of stuff we’ve had to do this weekend which we would have normally done on the test day. We were chasing ourselves with the set-up across the meeting, but it just never really went our way and we were battling with it in all three races.
“The racing was a bit average in general, we were always lacking something when following other cars which meant we couldn’t keep with them and you can’t make any progress when it’s like that, so we just had to settle for the results we got.
“Oulton Park is a much different circuit to this though and I’m confident we will enjoy a much better weekend there and get back to the sort of top ten pace we were showing at Brands Hatch and Donington Park.”
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