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Michael Epps confirmed as Team HARD’s third driver

Team HARD has confirmed that Michael Epps will complete RCIB Insurance Racing’s driver line-up for the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign.

Epps will join Chris Smiley and Jake Hill following a 2015 season spent competing in the VW Racing Cup, where he picked up multiple wins and podiums. The step up to Team HARD and the BTCC is one Epps is relishing.

“It’s probably the most exciting time in my career so far. I could only dream of a BTCC seat at one stage and now it’s really happening – I’m struggling to take it in,” the 24-year-old said.

“There was a prospect of driving in the BTCC from the very beginning of my relationship with Team HARD and RCIB, but over thewinter we have come closer and closer to actually being able to make a dealwork.

“The opportunity presented itself and we had to grab it and work it into this. Now here we are and I can’t wait to go blasting up to Paddock Hill on that first weekend at Brands!

“The aim is obviously to get as high up as possible and with the current situation of cars changing packages and lots of money being spent, you just never know. I’m optimistic and hoping to bring home points.”

With Epps alongside Smiley and Hill, the outfit has a driver line-up with an average age of just 23. Promoting young talent has been a conscious effort on the part of Team Principal Tony Gilham.

“We have chosen to support young up-and-coming drivers once again,” he acknowledged. “We’re rewriting the rulebook and focusing on skill rather than just looking for drivers with big budgets.

“Mike is another very exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the Avensis. Having witnessed his pace last year, we are confident he will enjoy a very promising debut season. This isjust the start of a long-term plan for the team as we now look to establish a solid platform on which to build moving forwards.”

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