Despite initially setting his sights on a seat in the World Series by Renault, Briton David Epton has shifted his focus to the new International Formula Master Series.

The single-seater category, which will tour the continent in support of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, unveiled its two-litre 250bhp Tatuus-built 'S2000' car during the recent Autosport International show in Birmingham and, should the necessary backing be secured over the coming weeks, Epton is confident of becoming one of its first signings.

The 25-year old is looking to line up for May's inaugural Formula Master race in Valencia with the highly-regarded Jenzer Motorsport team and held further talks with his management team and Jenzer's Andy Welch at the show prior to the weekend.

"International Formula Master really is a very attractive option for us," Epton admitted, "We are most definitely looking to move up the ladder this year and, while we have been considering the World Series by Renault, we're seriously impressed by what Formula Master offers.

"The promotion of the championship is superb, the S2000 car looks outstanding and, with guaranteed live television coverage and a test in a GP2 car on offer for the top two drivers in the championship, it really is an exciting series."

Taking in street races at Pau and Porto, the series comprises eight meetings in 2007 with two 45-minute races at each venue. Brands Hatch will host the championship in late September, while the category will also visit Formula One circuits, Istanbul and Monza. With a five-year commitment from Eurosport to broadcast every race live, the championship will also be beamed into 108 million homes across a total of 59 countries.

"Being a brand new series, it's an opportunity to begin a championship on equal footing with everyone, as you won't be up against second or third year drivers in your first season," Epton continued, "I'm confident that, if we can agree a deal with a great team like Jenzer, we stand every chance of enjoying a successful year."

The Formula Renault driver kept his hand in over the weekend with an outing in the BP102 Celebrity Kart Challenge at the NEC, which saw drivers from various disciplines joining together to help raise money for a host of charities.

Racing in aid of Whizz-Kidz, which provides customised mobility equipment for disabled youngsters, the Formula Renault UK themed FRUKing Quick entry had to fight back from opening lap chaos, but a terrific performance from the five-strong team saw it end up a creditable ninth overall, just five laps down on the event winners Ich Liebe DTM after 230 laps.

"The kart race was great fun," Epton commented "Had it not been for the problems on the first lap, I think we'd have definitely been in with a chance of challenging for a top three finish. We were back up to as high as sixth place at one stage and we all drove well, but the main aim of the day was to raise as much as possible for charity and have a superb time in the process."



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