Mike Epps is confident of new team Matrix Motorsport’s UK Clio Cup pace after a chaotic but promising weekend at Oulton Park (Cheshire), the former BTCC driver adamant that podiums and wins should be on the horizon soon.
A gearbox issue hampered Epps’ entire Friday practice, with quite a loss of pace in both sessions. Heading out for qualifying on Saturday morning with a replaced gearbox, he qualified 8th after losing over three tenths of a second getting around another car on his fastest lap. Later analysis showed his lap time may have been good enough for 3rd on the grid without the delay.
Avoiding an incident in a contact-filled first lap of Race 1, he chased the lead pack in 9th position at the back of a battling train of cars.. Despite everyone ahead defending their positions, he managed to slip past BMR-Academy’s Bradley Burns for 8th place on the final lap.
Race 2 proved much more exciting, certainly for the fans watching, as Jade Edwards was launched into a spectacular high-speed roll over after contact on the first lap causing a long safety car period. With Jade out and ok, the field went back racing and Epps took advantage at the start to move up to 6th place where he remained until the finish.
Commenting on the weekend, Epps felt there was plenty of promise to take from the meeting:
“I think the potential is there! I’m confident we’ve found a bit more pace and just need a smooth weekend now to bring home those results. Oulton is a hard place to overtake at, unless you have a clear advantage it’s difficult to get through, the top 10 drivers in this championship are all similarly paced, very quick, consistent and some with far more experience than I have! I’ve enjoyed taking on the challenge of these cars and this championship with Matrix so far and I hope next time out we can really take the fight right to the front.”
The next rounds of UK Clio Cup take place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, 23-24 June.