Will Burns has continued his impressive start to the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season with a superb pair of podium finishes, including a second victory of the season so far, at Donington Park this past weekend (27/28 April).
After two seasons away, Burns made a triumphant return to the championship three weeks’ ago with a victory during the season opener at Brands Hatch. With confidence high from that result, he continued his impressive start to the season in Leicestershire.
The Weston-Super-Mare racer headed into the weekend with a strong track record at Donington Park, having taken three podium finishes in his last four GT4 SuperCup races there, and his pace was clear to see from the off in free practice on Thursday.
Second quickest in the dry and fastest overall in the wet, the changeable weather provided a useful opportunity to perfect the set-up on his Rob Boston Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 ahead of a weekend that featured a range of different conditions to tackle.
On a slippery surface in qualifying, Burns truly excelled with a best effort of 1m 18.874s around the Donington Park National Circuit earning him his second ever pole position in the GT4 SuperCup by an incredible margin of seven tenths of a second.
The opening two races of the meeting took place on Saturday afternoon. The first of which proved to be a frustrating affair, with two lengthy safety car spells leading to limited racing laps as Burns tried to fight back after slipping to fourth on the opening lap.
The 28 year old showed some impressive pace in the closing stages and posted the fastest lap of the race as he climbed into third position. That earnt him a 34th podium finish in the GT4 Supercup and moved him up to third on the all-time list for the series.
That tally would increase a few hours later. Dropping to third initially, Burns swiftly moved up to second position and began to hunt down a 3.5 second gap to the race leader, with sensational pace seeing him gain two seconds in just three laps before a safety car interlude.
Right on his tail at the restart, Burns piled on the pressure before making a slick move into Redgate corner on lap 12 to seize the advantage. From there, the Cases Ltd, Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services supported driver controlled the race to the chequered flag.
The final race of the weekend, televised live on ITV4, started in dramatic fashion for Burns with a driveshaft failure on the green flag lap causing him to miss the race start. There was a reprieve however, with an incident causing a red flag.
A heroic effort from the Rob Boston Racing team saw the G55 fixed and on the grid for the race restart. From dead last, a great drive saw Burns climb through from fifteenth to sixth overall and fifth of the Pro Class contingent at the finish.
That result secured him a crucial haul of championship points and helps move him up to third in the championship standings heading into the next rounds of the championship at Croft in North Yorkshire on 15/16 June.
Will Burns: “I’m delighted with the weekend. We overcame every obstacle thrown at us and came away with a big haul of championship points which is crucial. Two fastest laps, a race win and two podium finishes, I really can’t complain about anything.
“With our pace in the wet and the dry in Thursday practice, we were confident we could fight at the front no matter what the weather threw at us over the weekend. I was really pleased with our performance in qualifying, to get pole position by such a large margin.
“Race one was a struggle, trying to get into a rhythm with the safety cars, so to still get a podium was great. It all came together in race two though, the Rob Boston Racing Ginetta was rapid and once I was out front, I was able to control the race.
“I certainly played my get out of jail free card in race three. The team did a tremendous job getting the car turned around and I gave it everything to get up the order and salvage as many points as possible. It was a good end to a great weekend.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.