INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Belardi Auto Racing is thrilled to announce its second return driver for the 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season, Michael Epps.
21-year-old driver Epps joined Belardi Auto Racing's USF2000 program just before the halfway mark of the 2013 season. He made his debut with the team for Rounds 6 and 7 on the streets of Toronto, Canada, and he managed to bring home two top-10 finishes. His debut weekend immediately showed promising results for the second half of the season. Before joining Belardi, Epps' best finish was 11th, but once he settled in with the team he concluded the season with a best finish of fifth on three occasions.
The United Kingdom native began his racing career karting in 2006. He was then introduced to cars at the age of 18, a bit late compared to other drivers, but he came up just nine points short of clinching the championship his rookie year in British Formula Vee. In 2013, he joined P1 Sports Management and made his first step in American racing by joining the Mazda Road to Indy program in the USF2000 series. 2014 will be Epps' second season in the series, which is the training ground for rising stars sanctioned by INDYCAR.
Team owner, Brian Belardi, is excited to see how Epps will do with Belardi Auto Racing in a season-long effort with the team in 2014.
"Right away Michael became a great asset to our team when he joined us mid-season," said Belardi. "He was quick to adjust to the way we operated and it seemed to work well for him. We couldn't be happier to have him join us again this year. He had several strong finishes with us and I'm looking forward to seeing him challenging for podiums and wins this upcoming season. I know the team is excited to see what he can do with us in our hunt for the championship."
"I'm delighted that we've been able to sign with Belardi for next year," said Epps. "Since joining them in the middle of the 2013 season, things really started to happen in the USF2000 series for me, and I was getting closer to the results I know I deserve thanks to a great variety of hard working people. I feel like an important part of a big team now and with our skills combined, success is definitely on the menu for 2014!"
The series will commence on March 29 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., with the IndyCar Series annual season-opener where the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will complete Rounds 1 and 2 of the 14-race season.
About Belardi Auto Racing
Belardi Auto Racing is a Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires team based in Brownsburg, Indiana. 2012 brought two race wins, 12 podiums, 20 top-five finishes and 50 top-tens. Additionally, the 2011 season saw two wins, 10 podiums, 17 top-fives and 36 top-tens. Follow the team on Twitter, Facebook or their official website, www.BelardiAutoRacing.com.