Nine, nine, nine is no emergency for Epps

Michael Epps on the grid at Donington
Michael Epps on the grid at Donington

Hemel speedster Michael Epps continued to build on his progress in the Formula Renault BARC Championship with three top-ten finishes at Donington.

Epps, 20, finished ninth in each of the weekend’s three races, making it four top-ten finishes in a row for the Anytime Fitness-backed racer.

Michael Epps

Michael Epps

“I’m much more comfortable in the car now, we’ve changed things together and begun to really push forward,” said the team JWA-Avila driver

“The last rounds at Croft were shadowed by our luck and with a cleaner weekend, we’ve been able to show more potential.”

In Saturday’s first qualifying session, Epps managed to qualify ninth – his and the team’s best qualifying results of the year so far.

He then struggled early on in the first race, but eventually battled back to finish where he started in ninth.

“I got the revs wrong and nearly stalled it which caused a slow getaway,” said Epps. “It was a rough race – tyres touched with others and at one point I was put on the grass.

“I wanted to push for places, but at the same time I wanted to keep my nose clean and didn’t quite have pace to make an opportunity.”

Race two was more exciting than the first, with Epps gaining two places on the first lap only for the red flags to come out following an incident on the start line.

On the restart, Epps repeated the same moves, coming through to take ninth.

He said: “I took advantage of other battles ahead to get past, but still didn’t really have outright pace.

“Towards the end of the race I really struggled with traction and lost time on the guys ahead.”

In the final race of the weekend, Epps was starting further back in 15th place.

Passing five cars on the first lap, and another on the next, Epps was already set for the same or a better result than his other two races.

Charging forward, he passed rival Jake Dalton for eighth place about half way through.

Just a few laps from the end, however, he began to fall back and was pushed back down to ninth again at the finish.

“A few laps from the end others seemed to start pulling away, while I just stayed the same,” Epps said.

“I couldn’t really push it any harder, the car was set up for a little earlier in the race and went right off at the end.”

The last two rounds of the championship will be run as support races for the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone in October.

Keep up-to-date on Epps’ progress on Twitter @MichaelEppsUK