- Simon Paice
Will Burns Stars At Snetterton With Brilliant British GT Podium Finish
Will Burns scored a fantastic GT4 class podium finish at Snetterton this past weekend (07/08 August), a result that means he and team-mate Gus Burton have extended their advantage at the top of the British GT Championship standings.
After scoring a podium finish last time out at Spa-Francorchamps, to add to their two victories so far this season, Burns and Burton headed to Norfolk with a strong points haul the target as they prepared to tackle the first double-header event of the season.
The Weston-Super-Mare based racer got to grips with the Snetterton 300 circuit in both wet and dry conditions across Friday testing and free practice on Saturday, which crucially meant he was ready to tackle whatever the weather threw at him for the serious business of qualifying and the races.
The reigning Ginetta GT4 SuperCup champion produced a great lap behind the wheel of the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 to get second on the grid for the first of two one-hour ‘sprint’ races on Sunday, before Burton posted a quick effort of his own to secure fourth for race two.
Burns started the opening race behind the wheel and maintained second place through the early stages, before benefitting from an issue for the car ahead to move into the class lead. A great stint from there ensured he remained in front heading into the pitstops.
With the team having to add on five seconds to their pitstop time as a success penalty for the Spa podium, Burton emerged in second place. The young talent went on to produce an incredible defensive display in the closing stages to hold the position through to the chequered flag.
With a fourth podium finish of the season under their belts, the duo were right in the mix to add another in the second race. Burton started in the cockpit and avoided some first lap chaos at the Wilson hairpin to rise to second in class.
A strong drive saw him hold the position into the pitstop window. Despite having a longer seven second pitstop success penalty this time round, Burns emerged in second position still and quickly set about closing down the gap to the GT4 leading McLaren ahead.
Unfortunately for the 31 year old from Somerset, the team were adjudged to have timed their pitstop marginally short of the required length, leading to a stop/go penalty. Once that was served, they were dropped out of podium contention but Burns fought back well to fifth at the finish.
That result means the Cases Ltd, Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services backed driver holds a 44.5 point advantage at the top of the GT4 drivers’ standings alongside Burton, as well as a 51 point lead in the Silver Cup ranks heading into the final three races of the 2021 season.
Will Burns:“We’re very happy with how this weekend have gone. Century Motorsport gave us a fantastic car in all conditions, Gus [Burton] drove superbly and we put ourselves in position to potentially come away with two podium finishes.
“After some strong running on Friday, the car was feeling good in both the dry and the wet during free practice on Saturday. That was crucial as we tackled unpredictable, changing weather over the weekend and we were ready to go for every session.
“Considering qualifying was my first time on new tyres over the meeting, I was very happy with second for race one and Gus put in an amazing lap too. We were in a good starting position for both races and we tried to take full advantage on Sunday.
“We ultimately didn’t have the pace to match the McLaren’s again in the races this weekend, but we drove smartly to stay in contention. We were over the moon with second in the opening race, especially considering we had to serve the pitstop success penalty.
“To then be in contention for a podium finish in race two as well was great, though sadly we got handed the stop/go penalty. Fifth still got us some good points on the board though and we’re feeling confident heading into the final two weekends of the season.”
The next British GT Championship rounds are just over a month away, with two more one-hour races at Oulton Park in Cheshire (11/12 September). The season finale then follows at Donington Park (16/17 October).
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.