Hemel Hempstead's Mike Epps kicked off the 2019 racing season with a strong showing in the first three rounds of the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Brands Hatch, Kent. In a last minute lifeline entry to the championship with his former BTCC team, Team Hard Racing, timing was tight to get everything sorted, but good pace and results straight from the get go meant he left the circuit last weekend a promising 3rd place in the championship. With a single day of testing in the car at the championship launch day prior to the first weekend around Brands Hatch's Indy circuit, he placed P2 and P3 in the Friday free practice sessions in dry conditions. Qualifying took place early on Saturday morning on a much colder track where he qualified P4 with a best lap of 47.96 seconds, just 2-tenths of a second shy of pole-sitter and 2018 race winner Harry King. Typically, Brands Hatch gave the Ginetta GT4 Supercup a whole mix of weather in which to start their season, with one wet, one dry and one mixed conditions race. Epps fought hard to secure two 4th places and a debut podium (3rd) in the Pro category over the weekend. This leaves him 3rd in the points to rivals Reece Somerfield and Harry King ahead.
Epps commented: “I’m pleased, we’ve done a pretty good job. There was definitely more to come from it and some of the weekend was a gamble with the weather. I brought my rear tyres in a little too quick in qualifying and got held up a couple of times out there. I’m glad to be this competitive with not much running, I’m sure with each new tyre run we do, our one-lap pace will improve.”
“The racing was great! Especially in wet and slippery conditions, you can just hustle these cars around. I don’t think our pace was reflected so well in Sunday’s dry race as we went the wrong direction with set up and tyre life wasn’t too great, but we held onto some good points with 4th and bagged our first podium in the wet on Saturday. Great result for the whole team.”
“Now we have a chance to go back and improve a few things having had some proper time in the car. We know where our mistakes were and where improvements can be made, we’re in the ball park and I’m looking forward to gunning for better results in the coming races.” “A massive thank you to Tony Gilham and Team Hard Racing for throwing me a line after what has been a pretty dismal Winter for me and my family. Tony’s aspirations are always high and I’ll be doing everything to get the results everyone wants.” “It’s no secret that a full season isn’t secured for me, so I’m just happy to have made it to the first weekend. We will need to raise a lot of budget still to complete the year at the moment, we’re pushing hard to find the right partners and good results should only help us to do that.”
The next rounds of the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup Championship take place at Donington Park, Leicestershire on April 27/28