Mike Epps broke into podium territory last weekend in the Renault UK Clio Cup at Snetterton, Norfolk. He vaulted from 13th on the grid to ultimately finish 3rd by the chequered flag in the first of two races on Sunday, scoring both his first podium in the one-make saloon series and new-team Matrix Motorsport’s first podium altogether.
This was a great recovery for Epps who suffered a poor qualifying the day before, picking up damage early in the dry session and unable to set competitive times.
Weather conditions changed dramatically through the weekend, starting with a high of 34 degrees Celsius and sunshine all day on Friday during practice, with Sunday a comparatively brisk 18 degrees with rainfall most of the day.
Epps used his wet weather experience to scythe through the field while a few fell of the slippery circuit. With 2015 series runner-up Ash Hand standing-in as team mate for an unwell Andy Wilmot, the pair pushed straight through to the front and on the last lap Epps challenged Bradley Burns for second place. As a result a close following Hand got ahead but was later penalised for contact, giving Epps the podium spot.
Race two was a more frustrating endeavor, with contact over the start line crushing his rear bodywork into his rear left tyre, causing a loss of straight line speed and wearing the tyre down to nothing by the end of the race. He held on to the finish to take away 2 championship points from the weekend.
“I’m over the moon about our first podium and our wet pace was great”, commented Epps after the weekend. “But it’s bitter-sweet because I’ve had such a mixture of good and bad sessions this weekend, they kind of balance eachother out and we could’ve pushed for a similar result in race two were it not spoiled at the start. I’m happy with the race one result, credit to everyone at Matrix, and the focus is now to go and get much more out of Rockingham.”
The next rounds of the Renault UK Clio Cup take place at Rockingham, Corby on 11-12 August.