- Simon Paice
Will Burns Continues Title Challenge With Oulton Park Podiums
Will Burns has continued his record of scoring at least one podium finish in each of the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup meetings so far this season with a pair of superb performances in the latest rounds at Oulton Park this past weekend (29/30 June). Burns, who celebrated his 29th birthday at the start of the week, brought the first half of the 2019 campaign to a close with his fifth and sixth top three results of the campaign, which have moved him up to second position in the championship standings. The fourth meeting of the season started in positive fashion for the Weston-Super-Mare based driver as he posted the fastest time in the opening free practice session on Friday, before ending the day third quickest overall after the second outing in the scorching Cheshire sunshine. Unfortunately it wouldn’t quite go Burns’ way in qualifying though, with his best effort securing him fifth on the grid. With Oulton Park being renowned as a difficult circuit to overtake around, he therefore headed into the opening race focusing on damage limitation. A great start in his Rob Boston Racing Ginetta G55 ensured Burns remained in fifth place in the early laps before an issue for a driver ahead promoted him to fourth. This put him right on the tail of the final podium contender and he heaped on the pressure as the race progressed. The Somerset racer eventually took the chequered flag just 0.122s adrift of the podium, however a late track limits penalty for the driver ahead meant he was classified third in the final results. That put him in the same position on the grid for race two on Sunday. In front of one of the biggest trackside crowds of the season and the live ITV4 television cameras, the race started in dramatic fashion as Burns briefly found himself in the race lead in his Cases Ltd, Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services supported machine. As the top two battled ahead, Burns squeezed through in the braking zone for Island hairpin to take first place, however an immediate hit to the rear sent him wide. Whilst he could recover to second place, damage sustained to his Ginetta ensured his challenge for the win was over. Instead, Burns was able to build a quick gap to the pack behind and then cruise home in a clear second position for his 38th career GT4 SuperCup podium finish, which leaves him 48 points off the championship lead heading into the mid-season summer break. Will Burns: “After the disappointing qualifying session on Saturday, to come away with a pair of podium finishes is a huge relief. From fifth to third and then to second, we only moved forward across the weekend which is satisfying and shows the pace we have in the Rob Boston Racing car. “I’m not entirely sure what happened in qualifying to be honest, the lap time just didn’t come to me. I knew it would therefore be tough in the races as overtaking is tricky at Oulton, but I was patient and took the opportunities when they presented themselves. “The podium finishes have kept us in the battle at the top of the championship standings. The leader has a healthy margin, but as we know from 2016 when I closed down a gap of over 100 points, anything can happen and I’m raring to go for the second half of the season.” Following a seven week break, the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup will return to action at the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, over the weekend of August 17/18.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.