Clio Cup’s level of competition “very impressive” says title outsider Epps

Former British Touring Car racer Michael Epps has added to his earlier praise this season of the Renault UK Clio Cup ahead of Silverstone’s forthcoming rounds in which he is hoping for slice of luck to stay in the title hunt.
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Epps is one of eight drivers still in with a chance of the title – a fine achievement given both he and his Matrix Motorsport team are new to the championship in 2018.

He said: “For it still to be so wide open says just how close the cars are – there really is nothing between them and the difference really boils down to car set-up.

“That is testament to several very closely matched teams. The top four or five are never more than a tenth of a second off their optimum performance each time. It’s very impressive.”

Sixth in the current standings, Epps is 84 points behind championship leader Max Coates – he needs to reduce that to less than 56 at Silverstone if he wants to keep up the fight at Brands Hatch’s title deciding rounds a fortnight later.

He added: “I actually wouldn’t be surprised if we came away from Silverstone within the 56 points given how things have been unfolding among the guys at the top of the table lately.

“However I would be surprised if I won the championship, but all sorts of crazy stuff can go down! Realistically I’d say fourth – maybe even third – is our best chance.”

Epps certainly has momentum on his side – when the season resumed at Snetterton in late July he achieved a breakthrough third place, his first podium result in the Clio Cup. That was followed up with a second next time out at Rockingham. Significantly both results were achieved in wet conditions.

He continued: “Our wet pace is better than our dry pace compared to our rivals – it takes a lot to make one of these cars the fastest in the dry and certainly no new team can expect to simply walk in and do that and that is how it should be. But the Matrix team are gradually getting there. We are only talking a couple of tenths away now.

“I’ve enjoyed being an integral part in the team’s development in terms of set-up and wringing the most from the car; now we’re starting to reap some rewards.

“(Daniel) Rowbottom and (Jack) McCarthy have recently added to the list of winners this year although we came very close to getting the win off McCarthy at Rockingham!

“I believe we can add to that list and at Silverstone we’ll have a very good crack at it – both there and at Brands Hatch we’re out to impress some prospective sponsors for 2019.”