- Simon Paice
Will Burns Caps Off Special British GT Season With Finale Podium
Will Burns has signed off his title-winning campaign in the British GT Championship with a brilliant podium finish in the season finale at Donington Park this past weekend (16/17 October).
Burns and team-mate Gus Burton therefore end their superb campaign with no less than seven podium finishes behind the wheel of Century Motorsport’s all-conquering BMW M4 GT4, a tally almost unmatched in recent championship history.
The Donington Park meeting didn’t start on a high note though with some mechanical issues across pre-event testing on Thursday, however the team worked hard to find a solution and good progress was made through the two free practice sessions on Saturday.
They made a further step forward in qualifying with the drivers’ combined efforts placing them fourth on the GT4 class grid for the two hour finale. Burns would start the race behind the wheel, with the Weston-Super-Mare racer set to tackle some tricky wet conditions.
Remaining in fourth place through the first ten minutes, Burns then went on the offensive and a brilliant switchback move through the Esses set him up for a clean overtake for second position into the Melbourne hairpin just before the half hour mark.
The Cases Ltd, Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services based driver closed a gap of over three seconds to the class leader before grabbing the advantage, moving into the lead at the same circuit they previously took a class win at during the championship’s first visit in July.
Unfortunately their hopes of replicating that achievement were hit heavily by having to serve the maximum 20 seconds pitstop success penalty after winning the last round at Oulton Park, meaning Burton emerged from their mandatory pitstop in third.
The young talent pushed hard to try and close the 10 second gap to the class leader, but was unable to make much inroad in the ultra-competitive. Instead, he remained a comfortable third through to the chequered flag, finishing off a brilliant season for the new British GT4 champions.
Will Burns:“I’m glad we managed to wrap up the title with a weekend to spare, as this was one of our tougher events of the season and it would have been very nervy otherwise. The team did a great job getting the car ready for qualifying and we got ourselves a strong starting position.
“It was quite a tactical race. With the track drying as the race developed, you had to choose what the right tyres were to go on and then try to push to gain places, but also make sure the tyres didn’t overheat. We seemed to get a good strategy together.
“Considering we had the maximum pitstop success penalty again, we’re very happy to get another podium finish. It’s a great way to end a special season, and I want to say a huge thank you to Century Motorsport and my sponsors for making it all possible.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.