Will Burns will head into the final two meetings of the 2019 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup with a 28 point championship lead after extending his advantage with a superb podium hat-trick at Knockhill this past weekend (14/15 September).
While the GT4 SuperCup hadn’t made the trip north of the border for three years, Burns headed to Scotland with a rich history around the picturesque circuit. In the ten previous races there in the series, the Weston-Super-Mare racer had finished on the podium eight times.
An official test on Wednesday gave him the chance to get reacquainted with the high-speed, undulating Knockhill track ahead of the race meeting itself. Second fastest that day, he finished in the same position in each of the two free practice sessions on Friday.
Heading into the weekend in confident mood, Burns could have hardly got closer to pole position on Saturday. Pushing hard in his Cases Ltd, Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services supported Ginetta G55, a great effort of 50.509s saw him miss out by just three hundredths of a second.
From the front row of the grid, Burns produced a good start to race one later that afternoon to maintain second place. From there, a composed performance saw him hold position throughout the 18 lap encounter to record his milestone tenth podium finish of the campaign.
It was a similar story in the early stages of the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning, however on this occasion a false start time penalty for the race leader Harry King meant that Burns was out in front on the revised times.
Following a mid-race safety car period, a mistake for his chief title rival King at the high-speed chicane opened the door for Burns to take the lead on the road. He held it to the finish for a fifth win of a campaign, leading home Rob Boston for a one-two team finish.
The reverse grid for the live televised final race of the weekend put Burns fourth. He made immediate progress though to slot into third off the line, before putting Carlito Miracco under pressure ahead in pursuit of second place.
The 29 year old’s attention soon had to turn to King behind though, who got through at Clark’s on lap nine with a particularly robust move. That feistiness continued as Burns tried to regain the position, with forceful defensive driving keeping him at bay.
Burns pushed hard to the chequered flag and came home fourth, however post-race King was penalised for his overtaking move. This promoted Burns to third place, making it 12 podium finishes for the campaign and 44 in his GT4 SuperCup career to date.
The Somerset racer now holds a healthy lead at the top of the standings heading into the final two meetings. First up he competes at Silverstone in two weeks’ time (28/29 September), before the season finale at Brands Hatch GP (12/13 October).
Will Burns: “It’s been a good weekend. I love the Knockhill circuit so was feeling positive heading into the weekend, but to come away with three podium finishes and an extended points lead is more than we were anticipating on Saturday morning.
“It was clear that Harry [King] had the pace advantage this weekend, so we had a bit of damage limitation in mind. As it turned out, fortune favoured us at points across the three races and I was able to crucially finish ahead of him twice.
“I’m on a good run of form at the moment, but I know from experience just how quickly things can change around in the series. I was 109 points adrift in 2016 with ten races to go and ended up missing out on the title by just three points.
“Therefore my focus is just on staying consistent, making no mistakes and maximising every session. Harry [King] headed into the season as the clear championship favourite, so I feel like the pressure is off me and it‘s his title to lose.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.