Friday 16 March 2012

Michael Epps trains to take on Formula Renault BARC

Working out in the gym is very important for aspiring racing drivers
Michael Epps has signed to race in the 2012 Formula Renault BARC Championship, ending what has been a long winter of hunting for funding and the right race team to work with. Joining forces with the newly formed Jwa-Avilla Race Team, Epps has his sites on winning the Championship in his first year in the class. If progress continues as it has been, it might be something worth betting on too.

With Matt Tiffin, another driver from 2012’s Formula Vee Championship, joining Michael as a team mate, they are sure to be a force to watch out for this year. “I’m over the moon”, said Epps. “Everyone in the team is great too. They are committed, ambitious and – like myself - they really want to win.” The team also run a successful Porsche 999 RSR in the World Endurance Championship, a hugely competitive and high class racing series. “This is no small team, they are serious guys with a lot of experience and knowledge in a hell of a lot of areas.”

On track at Snetterton
With a Shakedown test at Rockingham a fortnight back and the first proper test at the new Snetterton 300 circuit last Friday, things have already proved very successful for Epps. “The Rockingham test wasn’t much to look at really, we were just making sure things fitted well and that we all got on and worked together.” Pace came towards the end of the day at the dry Rockingham Circuit, but a car very old set of tyres would ultimately stop him getting any further. “It was all fairly rushed to get to Rockingham, we only sorted the car out in the week before it so it still needed to be stripped and rebuilt really”. Epps commented.

With all these things sorted for the test at Snetterton, a huge improvement was instantly noticed as Epps was setting good pace and mixing with other competitive cars straight away. “Things felt much better, people were certainly aware of our pace. I was really starting to get to grips with the car too and pushing it much more to it’s limits.” The final session was yet another leap for the Hemel Hempstead based student, finding yet more time and running with the leading pack. He was now within a few tenths of the most competitive times and relative to his experience this is a brilliant achievement. “Some of these guys have been driving round all winter getting loads of track time, they are already completely up to speed. This is only my second day in the car and I have plenty of tests yet before the season starts.”

Epps is on a new level of seriousness coming into this year, he has been training hard locally at the new Anytime Fitness gym centre based in Hemel Hempstead. “It’s a great gym, open 24 hours a day, and I use it at all sorts of times. I’ve done so much training over the winter that driving these cars is now very easy on me physically. I’ve lost nearly 6kg and I’m so much stronger and fitter. I’m really ready for it this year now; I’ve worked so hard towards it in every angle possible. I plan to do what I always want to do with everything, and that is to be the best out there, full stop.”

Epps will soon be doing more tests at race circuits all over the UK prior to the Formula Renault BARC season which starts on 7th/8th April for the first 3 rounds at Snetterton in Norwich. Keep up to date with frequent news updates by following his Twitter account > @MichaelEppsUk .

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