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Epps back with Team HARD for 2017

Michael Epps will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid in 2017 after signing a deal to remain with Team HARD.

Epps continues his partnership with the Kent-based squad into a third successive season following campaigns in the Volkswagen Racing Cup and then the BTCC. The Hemel Hempstead racer is now set to return to VW machinery in one Team HARD’s newly acquired CCs, which the outfit will run in Britain’s premier motor sport series.

Epps impressed in his rookie BTCC season, scoring no fewer than seven outright points finishes and taking runner-up spoils in the Jack Sears Trophy.

Team boss Tony Gilham has already confirmed that his fleet of VWs will upgraded to running RML specification parts and the new TOCA engine, with Epps now setting his sights on points and podium finishes in his second campaign.

Alongside his racing, Epps will also be providing some exciting opportunities for Team HARD sponsors and fans throughout 2017, with plans in place to run track experiences in both the touring car and VW Cup racers, as well as simulator events at Simply Race in Milton Keynes.

The 24-year-old’s return to the pinnacle of UK motorsport comes thanks to the support of Anytime Fitness and Simply Race, and other backers that are to be announced in the near future.

“You know, I was a little concerned about being a one season wonder in the BTCC, especially being such a tough season, but I’m glad I was able to make an impression and create a 2017 campaign out of it,” said Epps.

“Tony (Gilham) has essentially opened the door for me to race in a championship I once never really considered as a possibility. Now we are set for year number two and I think we have a good chance to make a real impact.

“As anyone would expect, with a small budget and as part of one of the younger teams on the grid in my rookie season, there have been many challenges and I’m expecting there to be plenty more ahead too. The ingredients are there though; with the new cars and more people on-board I think we should be properly in the mix this time. We definitely outdid our equipment this year.”

“The deal is the right one for us at the end of the day. The team are passionate, they’re loud, and they want success. I have a great relationship with them and I think we’ve got what it takes, this will be the first time I’ve done a second season in any championship too.”

Tony Gilham (Team HARD principal) said: “We are very proud to have been able to put a package together to retain Mike for 2017. It is important for us to try to keep as much consistency with the team as possible and we have a great foundation on which to build on. He had a great season and we believe that next year will be very interesting to see how far up the grid Mike can get. His pace was outstanding last year and got nowhere near enough credit for his consistent front running lap times each weekend.”

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