09/03/2018

Epps & team-mates enthusiastic about new Matrix squad's chances

Former British Touring Car Championship racer Michael Epps believes the new Matrix Motorsport team can be a threat to the Renault UK Clio Cup’s established outfits when the 2018 season starts at Brands Hatch next month.
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Matrix will enter cars for Epps and another former BTCC driver Andy Wilmot, plus Aaron Thompson (starting his second season in the category) and team boss Jeff Alden who has experience of Time Attack competition. It also has an association with the Power Maxed Racing BTCC team's star Senna Proctor.

Furthermore its team manager is Dave Hayes – instrumental in the TCR team’s three Clio Cup titles in 2003, 2005 and 2006 with Jonathan Fildes, Jonny Adam and Tom Onslow-Cole.

Epps said: “Our most recent test at Silverstone was extremely positive. The track has a new surface so there were no points of reference really, but the car felt mega and there seemed to be loads of grip, even though it was a very cold day. During the test we ran ourselves dry with set-up permutations, which is a great way of gathering data and understanding what the changes do to the car.

“Bearing in mind it’s been from a standing start, the team has done a great job to get to where we are now. There are some experienced guys involved and the focus has been on the priorities every step of the way. So taking everything into account, I think we’re on target for the start of the season – but you never know until you get there.”

His team-mates are equally upbeat with the amount of work achieved to date, what the stopwatch is saying and the way in which the new team has gelled together.

Thompson commented: “Everyone gives 100 per cent effort and support, which means I have confidence in the car and the people around me. The lap times we’ve set so far look very good and, following our performance in testing, I believe we have a great chance to mix it at the front of the field.”

Wilmot added: “Dave is a perfectionist and the cars are meticulously prepared, which is a reflection on his determination to make sure we’re ready for the first round. I’ve never raced in the same car for a full season before, so to have everything in place and the Matrix team around me is a great feeling as we head towards the first round.”

Alden admitted to being surprised at just how much progress had been made since Matrix announced its entry into the championship six months ago.

He commented: “Our progress has been helped massively by the team of people we’ve had supporting us, including data engineer Ryan Brock…I’m extremely proud – if not a little taken aback – with what’s happened since we brought the team together. We now have four cars running in the championship and a great group of people involved.”

Pics: courtesy Jakob Ebrey Photography