Epps Ends USF2000 Championship Season with Top-Five in Houston
 October 8, 2013| 
USF2000-news
British rookie further highlighted pace and racecraft in finale doubleheader

ST. ALBANS, ENGLAND – The 2013 race season came to a close for British up-and-comer Michael Epps over the weekend (October 5-6), as the final two rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series were contested during the Grand Prix of Houston. The Belardi Auto Racing rookie overcame changing track conditions and contact to further showcase his ever-growing talents, coming home with a hard fought top-five finish.

Street circuits provide plenty of challenges, and the first-ever USF2000 visit to the streets around Reliant Park in Houston certainly had its fair share. The skilled Mazda Road to Indy racers not only had to deal with the traditional tight confines and concrete walls, but multiple changes to the bumpy track layout. Epps, however, rose to the occasion, continually working with his skilled crew to improve the No. 44 P1 Sports Management/UNATION/iRacing Motorsport Simulations/Anytime Fitness UK entry. The hard work paid off, as the former British Formula Vee Championship runner-up was among those to watch in the lone qualifying run, ultimately earning a row three starting position with the fifth best time among the 23-car field.

Returning to the cockpit one day later, the 21 year-old Epps was focused on working his way forward in race one of the Texas twin bill. Epps promptly did just that when the green flag waved, slotting himself into the fight for the final podium position. Continually looking for any opportunity to capitalize on, Epps made his move for third place during the final lap. While initially able to take the position, he subsequently dropped back to fifth when a fellow racer missed the newly re-installed chicane. Epps immediately regrouped though, dueling for the lost positions. Unfortunately, just prior to reaching the start/finish, Epps and another racer both contacted one of the concrete retaining walls. Able to continue, albeit with a damaged car, the British up-and-comer took the checkered flag in a hard fought fifth place.

Following a night of repairs, data and video analysis, and strategy, it was time to once again go racing. In stark contrast to the opening two days of action, rain and a very wet track greeted the talented USF2000 field for Round 14. For Epps, the tricky conditions presented a chance to further showcase his talents behind the wheel, and potentially challenge for a podium position. Getting the green flag from fifth place, the series rookie was poised to do just that, before a sudden loss of drive ended his race prematurely after just three laps.

"It was really hard for everyone in Houston," stated Epps. "With the changing track conditions and problems with the configuration, it was a real challenge to make the right decisions. Working with my engineer Angelo, we made great progress in the lead up to the races. We were just a tenth or two off the winning pace in the first race, which was a great positive for me. I nearly managed to get a podium, but things got a little scrappy between me and some other drivers, and I got shuffled to fifth. I'm a bit down about the mechanical failure in race two, but these things happen. I've really enjoyed this season overall. There have been more than enough hiccups, but I'm looking forward to the future, and I hope I'm able to get an opportunity like this again."

Those interested in supporting Michael Epps’ pursuit of the upper echelons of motorsports are encouraged to contact him directly at michael.epps@live.co.uk to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Learn more about Michael Epps through his social media outlets:

Website: MichaelEpps.co.uk 
Twitter: MichaelEppsRace
Facebook: MichaelEppsRacing
YouTube: Michael Epps UK

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About Michael Epps:
Born in St. Albans, England, Epps, who also retains New Zealand citizenship, first got behind the wheel at the age of 13, racing at his local kart club. Displaying talent right from the get go, he won multiple races in his rookie season. Advancing up to the Rotax Junior ranks in 2006, he captured the London Cup at Rye House, and finished second in the Brazilian Cup prior to making the move to Senior Rotax, where he scored the win in his class debut at a Rye House club event. Following another London Cup win and a runner-up finish in a Le Mans 24-hour kart race, Epps tested his first formula car in 2010. Transitioning to car competition in 2011, the teenager finished second in the British Formula Vee Championship. Epps further advanced up the junior formula car ladder in 2012, contesting the Formula Renault BARC UK Championship, earning five consecutive top-10 finishes to end the season.

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