Spanish Formula Renault 3.5 team Epic Racing has reiterated its independence from Joan Villadelprat's Epsilon Euskadi amid concern ahead of the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 selection process.
The decision in March by Epsilon Euskadi to withdraw from this year's Formula Renault 3.5 championship, as part of a restructuring, led to a management buy-out of the company's motorsport business sector by finance director Phil Payne and technical staff Claudio Corradini and Immanol Zubikarai.
Speaking to AUTOSPORT at last weekend's meeting at Paul Ricard, Payne explained his concerns regarding misinformation that surrounds Epic, which is running Sten Pentus and Albert Costa in this year's FR3.5 series.
"When we started this season nobody really knew what Epic was, who was behind it or what its intentions were," said Payne. "For various reasons we remained quiet, but with various things taking place in the last few weeks, we feel it's necessary to explain who and what Epic is."
Epic recently moved out of Epsilon Euskadi's Formula 1 standard factory in Vitoria-Gasteiz to "more humble" premises in the city.
"What [Claudio, Immanol and I] actually bought was the motorsport business sector from Epsilon. It was a 100 per cent buyout. Joan Villadelprat has nothing to do with Epic.
"The objective of Epic is what we are doing today. If we grow, we will grow in a natural and coordinated evolution process, we are not Epsilon in disguise. We are happy doing World Series we are not going to apply for a Formula 1 licence - yet!"
Chief among Payne's desires is to end speculation regarding the sale of the team, as Epsilon Euskadi works to revamp its project.
"Joan is looking for investors or partners. We're not here to bad-mouth Epsilon. We all worked with Joan, shared his dream and want them to be successful. We just want to defend Epic and we want to give an answer to all this bad information. Like any start- up company, the first year is often difficult.
"There were various agreements associated with the buy-out of the competition side of Epsilon that resulted in a very fair market price. There were basically three elements. There was a cash element, there was assuming the employee contracts and a period of support for the Epsilon project."
Epic has assisted in sourcing the funds for Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion Costa to race in this year's championship.
Although the Spaniard's participation at the final round at Barcelona is in doubt, Epic feels the policy of supporting talent should help increase its chances of receiving one of next year's 13 team slots, which are expected to be oversubscribed.
"Our intention is to buy two new cars and we welcome the increased calendar, we want to be a big part of this championship. We are not going to disappear if we don't get a 3.5 licence, but it would be a terrible blow for us. It would be very difficult to swallow... but if it happens, it happens and we'll find an alternative.
"We would continue in FR2.0. We would like to think that we are showing that we are taking FR3.5 seriously and we think our results warrant that."