Mike Epps evaluating options for 2018

Mike Epps is said to be evaluating options in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and TCR UK Championship for 2018.

Off the back off his second season with Team HARD in the BTCC, finishing 17th overall and taking a best finish of fifth, the 25-year-old is already looking ahead to next year.

Keen to build on the nine top ten finishes he took in the #12 Volkswagen CC, Epps admits he has his sights set on returning for a third campaign but is on the fence over some of the new rule changes that have been confirmed.

“My heart lies with the BTCC,” Epps explained. “It’s been a great couple years of racing despite struggling for results at points. It’s the most popular series in the UK, it has practically unbeatable exposure and coverage. It’s a dream come true to be part of and is full of awesome fans, drama and excitement.

“I worry that some of the new rules introduced within the BTCC may exaggerate some problems. The field is very close and there is always going to be inevitable contact. It’s obviously a hard job being a steward in this series and raising the penalty stakes is going to make decisions more difficult and more likely to be protested against.

“I respect their ideas and it could settle things down, we will see, but it also raises the risk of having your championship badly affected in the stewards room and that is always a bit of a put off for drivers and teams. Political stories of bans and result changes don’t do much good for anyone.

“I want to continue in BTCC, but whatever I do I need to get up the front end. The last two years have been challenging, I’ve had some great results at points but I need a stronger package around me in 2018 and that’s what I’m currently working towards.”

Getting his first taste of TCR machinery at Snetterton earlier this month driving the Brisky Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI, Epps says he is also open to TCR UK too next year.

“TCR is another option coming to the UK next season,” he added. “Testing the car at Snetterton, it was just as good overall to drive for me as a BTCC car; it’s a different kind of the same thing really. Maybe it’s a bit easier to drive and car setup is simpler.

“It felt sophisticated, modern, very well put together, and to me seems just as quick on track. The Golf sounded great to me. There’s a certain buzz about driving a BTCC car that maybe it lacks, but the difference in budget would soon sort my view on that. Commercial coverage is what will matter to some drivers and teams and that takes time.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography