Epps Rejoins USF2000 Championship with Double Top-10 in Canada
 July 17, 2013| 
  • Team News
First event with Belardi Auto Racing featured the British rookie among the lead pack on streets of Toronto

ST. ALBANS, ENGLAND – Michael Epps' enjoyed a strong debut under the Belardi Auto Racing banner over the weekend (July 13-14), scoring two top-10 finishes in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader on the streets of Toronto, Ont. The British rookie was part of the lead pack in both Rounds Six and Seven, coming home sixth and eighth in the twin bill. Epps is now poised to build on this performance when the Mazda Road to Indy program resumes with three Ohio races in August.

Thanks to a new partnership with multiple USF2000 Championship race winner Belardi Auto Racing, Epps started the second half of the 2013 campaign back where he belongs...behind the wheel.

Given Epps had only just joined the squad, taking part in a two-day test in Indiana in the lead up to the Toronto event, and met his new race engineer on the first day of the Canadian doubleheader, the plan was to use both Friday practice sessions around 1.755-mile street circuit within the Canadian National Exhibition grounds to get further acclimated to his new surroundings and develop his racing steed. That being said, the 21 year-old wasted little time showcasing his overall pace by cracking the top-10 of the highly-competitive field.

When the lone qualifying session commenced later in the day, the goal was simple, manage traffic and post some fast clean laps. While Epps didn't get the ideal flying lap he desired, the former British Formula Vee Championship runner-up did post the ninth best time, placing the No. 44 P1 Sports Management/UNATION/iRacing Motorsport Simulations/Anytime Fitness UK entry on the inside of row five for race one of the doubleheader.

After a night of data analysis and planning, it was time to go racing on Saturday morning. Epps was immediately looking for opportunities to go forward when the green flag waved. Involved in a multi-car dice for position for virtually all 25 laps, the dual British-New Zealand citizen showcased his speed and racecraft skills en route to a hard fought sixth place finish.

With his best result on North American soil now under his belt, and valuable race experience with his new team, Epps entered race two in downtown Toronto confident of another strong outing. Ultimately a incident-filled race that featured limited green flag laps prevented much in the way of movement. Epps in the end avoided the carnage to advance up to eighth, earning a second consecutive top-10 result, and momentum going into three races on a more familiar road course in a few weeks time.

"I'm really happy overall with how things have gone this weekend," stated Epps. "Considering that it's my first race within a new team, I met my engineer on Friday morning, and I have no damage whatsoever, it's a pretty good result. We were playing catch up a little bit with the top guys, but I and the team have taken all this with us so we can start right up there at Mid-Ohio and challenge for podiums or even wins. I know it's doable, because the team did it on Sunday with Danilo, so I'm already itching to get out in Ohio and continue this great progress. Being as Mid-Ohio is a more familiar purpose-built road course, I'm already feeling confident."

Epps returns to the cockpit of his Belardi Auto Racing entry on August 3-4, when the fight for top honors in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda resumes at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The lone tripleheader on the series calendar will feature Rounds Eight, Nine, and Ten taking place at the technical Ohio road course.

Those interested in supporting Michael Epps’ pursuit of the upper echelons of motorsports are encouraged to contact him directly @ 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


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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