- Simon Paice
Will Burns Closes On Points Lead With Double Thruxton Podium
Will Burns has moved to just three points shy of the summit of the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup championship standings after taking a hard-fought pair of second places finishes at Thruxton this past weekend (19/20 September). The Weston-Super-Mare based racer made the short trip east to Thruxton aiming to continue an impressive record at the Hampshire circuit, having previously recorded six consecutive podiums there in the GT4 SuperCup including a double victory last year. Burns was immediately back on the leading pace around the fastest circuit on the calendar, with his Rob Boston Racing prepared Ginetta G55 reaching speeds of over 140mph as he impressively topped the timesheets at the end of Friday’s two free practice sessions. Unfortunately other drivers weaving across the circuit to warm up their tyres severely hampered Burns on his quickest lap in qualifying the following morning. Having to settle for third on the grid, he was in a determined mood heading into race one that afternoon. A dramatic start saw contact between the top two drivers on the opening lap causing both to retire from the race, including the championship leader heading into the weekend. Staying out of trouble from that incident, Burns settled into second place through an early safety car period. Knowing one his main title rivals was parked at the side of the track, Burns’ focus when the action restarted was on maintaining second place and collecting a crucial haul of points. The Cases Ltd backed driver did exactly that, whilst also looking after his tyre wear ahead of Sunday’s two races. Race two started in dramatic fashion for Burns, as a driver coming across the front of his car led to contact between the two. Fortunately he was able to continue in fifth position, however severe damage to his wheel hampered his progress as the race continued. Clinging on to the rear of a three-way battle for second place, a piece of opportunistic driving saw him dive down the inside of a rival at the complex late on to take fourth. He held that position to the finish for another positive result. The reverse grid for the final race of the weekend placed Burns back on the front row and a good start helped him maintain position in his Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services backed machine through the early stages of the race. The top four drivers ran nose-to-tail for a long spell, with the 30 year old in the unenviable position of trying to attack and defend at the same time. Breaking clear with the leader in the closing laps, he piled on the pressure but had to settle for second at the finish. Burns’ seventh and eighth podium finishes of the season so far mean the former two-time GT4 SuperCup vice-champion is firmly in title contention heading into the final three rounds of the season, starting next month at Croft in North Yorkshire (10/11 October). Will Burns: “I’ve always loved racing at Thruxton and this weekend was no exception. The races were as action-packed and hard-fought as ever, and to come away with a couple of podium finishes and having reduced my gap to the front from 25 points to three is very pleasing. “The Rob Boston Racing car was fantastic all weekend and we were comfortably amongst the quickest drivers throughout. Race two was a frustrating one with the contact, but after the race we saw that with the extent of the damage, I was lucky the wheel hadn’t fallen off mid-race! “It’s absolutely all to play for heading into the final eight races of the season, with all three of us at the top of the standings being capable of winning the title. I’m really looking forward to the final part of the season and will be giving it everything to emerge successful.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.