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  • Simon Paice

Will Burns Salvages Podium Finish From Luckless Croft Weekend

Will Burns battled his way to a fourth podium result of the season and three crucial points finishes from a difficult third meeting of the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup at Croft this past weekend (15/16 June). After a seven week break since the last rounds at Donington Park in April, Burns headed to North Yorkshire refreshed and ready for action as he returned to the circuit at which he recorded his first ever GT4 SuperCup podium finish back in 2014. Positive tests at the circuit in pre-season put him in a confident mood behind the wheel of his Rob Boston Racing Ginetta G55, however some mechanical gremlins cost him some crucial track time in free practice on Friday compared to his front-running rivals. This was exacerbated in qualifying on Saturday morning, when an electrical problem his session almost immediately. With the 28 year old unable to complete a single fast lap, he would therefore start the opening race that evening from the back of the class grid. The heavens had opened by the time the race began and the Weston-Super-Mare based driver made a quick start to rise from eighth on the grid to fourth through the opening sequence of corners. Unfortunately, the action was soon red-flagged due to an incident and the grid reset. Burns was able to produce another fast start to slot into fifth, before gaining another position a lap later. In treacherous conditions, he smartly chose to focus on making no mistakes and bringing the car home in one piece, with a composed drive securing him a fourth place finish. With a solid haul of championship points under his belt, the 2016 GT4 SuperCup vice-champion headed into the first of Sunday’s two races looking to challenge for a podium finish in front of a big trackside crowd and the live ITV4 television cameras. Burns did exactly that in his Cases Ltd, Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services supported machine. A stunning move around the outside into Tower corner early on secured him third place, which he held to the finish before a time penalty for the winner promoted him to second. The final race of the weekend took place on a wet circuit following a spell of torrential rain an hour or so prior. From fifth on the reverse grid, the Somerset racer held position over the first two laps before debris from the previous BTCC race led to a front left puncture. Fortunate to keep it out of the barriers when the tyre blew, Burns was able to nurse the car back to the pits. Returning to the action a lap down, he kept his nose clean and took the chequered flag in sixth position of the Pro Class contenders for another good haul of points. Will Burns: “Complete madness of a weekend. Nothing has gone to plan at all, through no fault of the team. We’ve had mechanical and electrical issues out of our control that cost us crucial running in free practice and then ruled us out of qualifying. “It’s frustrating to have not been able to get into a rhythm on crucial weekends like this and we were massively on the backfoot heading into the races. We knew we had a good car though and got up to fourth in the torrential rain and then a podium in race two. “That’s where we need to be and unfortunately some debris cost us the chance of another trophy in the final race. We salvaged some points though which is crucial. Thank you to Rob Boston Racing for all their hard work, we’re going to come back fighting at Oulton Park.” Burns lies third in the championship standings heading into the next rounds of the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup at Oulton Park in Cheshire later this month (29/30 June).

Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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