Burns Battles To Ginetta Podium Double At Brands Hatch
Will Burns continued his impressive start to the 2020 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season with a hard-fought pair of podium finishes at Brands Hatch this past weekend (08/09 August).
The quick-fire start to the condensed 2020 season saw Burns back in action one week after the opening rounds at Donington Park, with confidence high after recording his best ever weekend in the championship with two race wins and a second place finish in Leicestershire.
The two-time Ginetta GT4 SuperCup vice-champion headed into the meeting with bittersweet memories of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. While he had five podium finishes in his last six Ginetta races on the layout, it was also the scene of his two near-misses with the title.
With the summer heatwave hitting Kent across the meeting, Burns had an extra challenge to face with high temperatures in the cockpit of his Rob Boston Racing Ginetta G55 GT4. On Friday, it rose above 50 degrees Celsius as he tackled the two free practice sessions.
After some positives runs, the Cases Ltd supported driver produced an impressive display in qualifying on Saturday morning and missed out on the all-important pole position by just 13 thousandths of a second. He still headed into race one in buoyant mood with a front row start.
A fantastic launch off the line saw Burns pull side-by-side with the poleman as they streamed through the first two corners. Unfortunately being on the outside, he was eased off the track slightly and the loss of momentum led to him falling back to third position.
As the race progressed, he pushed hard to try and regain his place, but he was all too aware of the importance of saving his tyre life for Sunday’s two races. Therefore, he settled for third place at the chequered flag, securing him the same position on the grid for race two.
Burns went on to maintain third place throughout that race in his Eurocams and Absolute Plastering Services backed machine, once again putting pressure on the second placed driver but being unable to force an opportunity. That result earned him a front row start for the reverse grid finale.
Maintaining second through an early safety car period, Burns mounted an assault on the lead shortly after the restart. He had to back out of his move to avoid contact though and the subsequent loss of momentum put him at threat from the driver behind.
Unfortunately his rival decided to unceremoniously shove Burns off the tarmac exiting Druids corner, dropping him back to fourth position. Determined to regain lost ground, the Weston-Super-Mare based driver produced a stunning switchback move through Paddock Hill Bend for third.
Luck was against him on this occasion though as the red flags emerged almost immediately afterwards to bring the race to a premature end. With the result taken back to the last completed lap, Burns was classified in fourth place.
Will Burns: “It was one of those weekends where if I was a driver happy to settle for second place, I’d have come away with three podium finishes and the championship lead. I want to win though, I challenged for the lead twice and both times it didn’t go my way.
“While that’s naturally frustrating, I still come away relatively happy. The Rob Boston Racing car was superb, we got a couple more podium finishes and I’m only five points off the top of the standings. There’s a long way to go in the season, so it’s all about getting more trophies next time out.”
The Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season continues at Oulton Park in two weeks’ time (22/23 August).
Images by Jakob Ebrey Photography