- Simon Paice
Will Burns Scores Valuable Points With Fourth Place At Silverstone
Will Burns remains at the summit of the GT4 points standings in the British GT Championship following an impressive fourth place finish during the flagship Silverstone 500 race this past weekend (26/27 June).
Whilst in a confident mood heading into the weekend after a brilliant victory in the season opener at Brands Hatch last month, Burns knew that some imposed balance of performance changes to his BMW M4 GT4 and a pitstop success penalty for the race would make it an uphill battle.
The Weston Super Mare racer had last competed on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in 2018, so some official testing on Friday and the traditional pair of one-hour free practice sessions on Saturday were crucial in getting him up to speed with the track and fine-tuning the set-up on their car.
It came together nicely for Burns in qualifying on Saturday morning, with a great lap putting him quickest in the first ten minute segment of the session. Team-mate Gus Burton then jumped behind the wheel and a strong performance from him confirmed third position on the grid for the race.
Burns started the three-hour race in the hotseat of the #57 BMW and kicked off proceedings in style by gaining a place on the opening lap. He then settled down for a lengthy 70 minute stint behind the wheel, moving into the race lead when the car ahead pitted.
The Cases Ltd and Eurocams supported driver posted consistently fast lap times to build the gap at the front of the field, before handing over to Burton. The charge continued from there, as he kept the BMW in the GT4 lead heading into the final forty minutes.
Unfortunately with two pitstops left to serve, including one with an additional 20 seconds added on as a success penalty for their Brands Hatch win, the team needed a safety car period to have any hope of remaining in the podium battle.
It didn’t materialise however, meaning they took the chequered flag in fourth position overall and second in the Silver Cup standings. They hold a 13.5 point lead at the top of the championship heading into a two hour race at Donington Park in two weeks’ time (10/11 July).
Will Burns:“All things considered, with the pitstop success penalty especially, that was about the best result we could have hoped for. It would have been nice to get onto the podium, particularly after leading for so long, but we’ll happily take the points in fourth.
“Century Motorsport gave us a fantastic car once again and we proved our pace in qualifying and the race. We had to do a bold race strategy to try and counteract the penalty, but there was no safety car period so it didn’t go in our favour.
“Fourth place is still a great result though and keeps up at the top of the championship standings. It will be a clean slate at Donington Park with no penalties to carry over, so we’re confident we can have a good weekend there.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.