Mike Epps took a strong haul of points away from Donington Park last weekend in the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup with two consecutive podiums, despite an unlucky mechanical issue which left him sat on the sidelines for the first race.
The 27-year old from Hemel Hempstead was aiming to improve on a positive first weekend in the championship with Team-HARD. Racing, leaving Brands Hatch three weeks ago third in the driver standings.
Epps put in a promising qualifying performance, putting his striking pink and green liveried #37 car P2 in wet conditions. Things took a downhill tumble though as a driveshaft failure left him sat stranded on the grid at the start of a dry race one. Unable to move the car, he sadly had to retire scoring 0 points in Saturday’s first encounter and would start at the back of the grid in the Pro category for the next race.
This left the Simply Race Milton Keynes sponsored driver with a lot of making up to do in the remaining races. The weather was now set to remain dry for the rest of the weekend and despite having only a few dry laps in practice, Epps picked things straight up and charged through to second place in an exciting 16 lap race two, with several overtakes around the outside of Craner Curves. He crossed the line 0.964 seconds behind winner Will Burns [Rob Boston Racing].
A number was drawn from the hat to decide the grid order for the third and final race of the weekend on Sunday in front of millions of live ITV4 TV viewers and tens of thousands of attending fans. The number 4 was drawn, flipping the first four finishers from race two, leaving Epps P3 on the grid.
With a good launch off the line, he held third place by the end of lap one and set about closing in on the two leaders ahead. Having got right on to the back of second place four laps in, the red flags came out after a colossal incident took place further down the field coming out of the final chicane. With four heavily damaged cars scattered across the circuit, bruised drivers and fluids all over the road, a 40-minute delay ensued to clean up the wreckage before the race was shortened to 8 laps and restarted with drivers in their current positions from the final recorded lap. Thus, Epps gridded P3 again.
This time round, struggling to get tyre temperatures up, he had tougher time of things, defending third place from Harry King [Elite Motorsport], the two scrapping for position in the early laps. Coming on strong half way through though, he began to catch the leaders in the closing laps. He took the flag in third position, securing his second podium of the weekend.
“It was painful, that failure in the first race!”, commented Epps. “Without that I think we could’ve easily bagged a triple podium and perhaps even a race win this weekend. It’s hurt our points a little bit, but we are still there in the fight for sure.
“Most importantly, we’ve made gradual improvements since Brands and learned things this weekend for both wet and dry setup with the car, which we will take to Croft. Sadly the hardest challenge for us will actually be finding the budget to get to that next round. Luckily it’s several weeks away and we have potential to make that happen I hope.”
“Again I can’t thank Tony Gilham and Team-HARD. Racing enough for the helping me in putting this together and keeping me out on track when just a couple of months ago we didn’t think I’d be racing this year. Together with our partners Simply Race, Anytime Fitness UK, Whitemoss Pharmacy, Marchand Watch Company, The Clever Baggers, Bike Devil Insurance, Viezu, West Herts Customs and GKR Scaffolding I hope we can either find further support so we can keep on competing at the front of this brilliant championship together.”
The next rounds of the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup take place at Croft circuit (North Yorkshire) on 15/16 June.