The 2016 Ginetta GT4 Supercup runner up, Will Burns, was recently named as Team Hard’s first driver for the 2017 British Touring Car Championship season.
Burns pushed Tom Wrigley all the way to the final lap of the 2016 season, and although accumulating the most points over all races, he marginally missed out on the title after applying the dropped points rule. Burns was 100 points behind the leader Wrigley at one stage late in the season.
Will was as a latecomer to motor racing, he started when he was 20 and progressed quickly to Ginetta GT4. Now, still only 26 years of age, his impressive performances in 2016 and previous seasons have earned him this move to BTCC and we would like to wish Will the best of luck in the 2017 BTCC championship. Seeing a driver progress in their career is a testament to the dedication and teamwork displayed at Douglas Motorsport.
Below is an interview with Will recorded over the final weekend of the 2016 Ginetta GT4 Supercup weekend…
Will Burns took the fight for the GT4 Supercup title right to the very last lap of the last race at Brands Hatch yesterday (Oct 2nd). Although Burns finished the season with the most points, Wrigley took the title after applying the dropped points rule (1 dropped point for Wrigley, 10 dropped points for Burns), which meant Wrigley finished only 3 points ahead of Burns.
In 3rd place for most of the race, Burns made a lunge for second on the last lap and took the position, only to be followed through by Tom Wrigley who had tracked Burns for the entire race. Burns used all of his racing skill to hold Wrigley back on the last lap while giving Jack Mitchell every opportunity to make a move on Wrigley and take third place. For much of the last lap the drivers were almost three abreast, but Wrigley managed to maintain third place and take the Championship for 2016.
The weekend had started in the best way possible for Burns, taking pole position by a full second. Tom Wrigley could only manage 10th place. During race 1, Burns lost first position on lap 2 but was able to regain the lead on lap 7 and pull away to finish the race in first place, cutting Tom Wrigley’s championship lead to only 12 points.
In the AM class, Chris Ingram took 2nd place in the overall standings after Colin White secured the championship after the first race of the weekend.
To start the final race 12 points behind the leader was a testament to both Burns’ abilities and determination, and, to the skill and dedication of the Douglas Motorsport race team. This 2016 season Douglas Motorsport has produced 3 vice champions (Stuart Middleton – Ginetta Junior, Will Burns – Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Chris Ingram – Ginetta GT4 Supercup AM class), a Rookie Champion (Daniel Harper – Ginetta Junior), a 4th and 5th place in the British F3 championship (Thomas Randle, who produced one of the drives of the season when winning at Spa-Francorchamps and Enaam Ahmed who claimed a 3rd, 2nd and 1st place at the very first race weekend).
After taking second place outright in the championship with 3 podiums last time out at Knockhill, this time Will Burns re-ignited the fight for first place by gaining 75 points on leader Tom Wrigley, and blowing the race for the Championship wide open. Although Burns wasn’t able to occupy top step on the podium at Rockingham, his consistent performances, combined with a poor weekend for Wrigley, were enough to close the gap at the top of the Championship table to only 18 points.
As the cars made their way to the grid for round 15, the heavens opened which made for an interesting race. Burns was quickly up to 2nd place and for the rest of the race scrapped with Carl Boardley for that position, with each driver swapping position numerous times throughout the race. Burns however finished in second place, and with Wrigley a non finisher, this meant Burns gained valuable championship points.
In the amateur class, Chris Ingram finished in 3rd place, giving him his 5th consecutive podium finish. He was to maintain this standard through rounds 16 and 17 where he finished 3rd and 1st respectively, meaning Chris has managed a podium finish in each last seven rounds.
In the second race of the weekend, Will Burns started from second on the grid due to his second place in race 1. Race 1 winner and polesitter for race 2, Jamie Orton, had a trouble free lights to flag race but behind him Will Burns was in a major tussle with Tom Hibbert for second place. With Will Burns in 3rd place, Tom Wrigley had made his way up from last on the grid. Will Burns made a move on Hibbert for second prompting Wrigley to make a lunge to pass both cars. However, Wrigley careered into the side of Burns car. This incident put Wrigley out of the race and brought out a red flag. The race ended with Will Burns in 3rd position after the results were rolled back to the previous lap.
Race 3, live on ITV4, showed what a competitor Will Burns is. Starting in 3rd place he maintained his position for a number of laps. Second place man Callum Pointon made a move on leader Mark Davies and was joined on the outside by Will Burns who looked to take advantage of the tussle in front of him. However, Burns seemed to envisage what was to happen, Davies and Pointon tangled, forcing Pointon off. Had Burns held his position on the outside of the two he would surely have been taken out too, but he was able to avoid contact and slip into second place. He held off Jamie Orton in 3rd position for the remainder of the race while also managing to stay close enough to Davies to challenge for the lead.
Next up is Silverstone on 17th September for the penultimate weekend of the Champsionship. Will Burns has ensured this will be an exciting weekend for him and Douglas Motorsport after blowing the championship wide open.
Review of the Ginetta GT4 Supercup Weekend at Knockhill, 13-14th August
The Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup visited Knockhill circuit last weekend, a weekend which included the postponed race from Snetterton 2 weeks earlier.
Knockhill Racing Circuit Ltd
Fife, KY12 9TF
Tel: 01383 723337
Will Burns continued to add to his impressive haul of podium places at Knockhill at the weekend, including a first place finish which gave him his second win of the season. His impressive results, combined with the absence of Jamie Orton at Knockhill have moved him clear into second place in the championship. In the amateur class Chris Ingram finished with a total of four podiums, which included 3 second places and a race win.
The first of four races in Scotland was the rescheduled reverse grid race from Snetterton, although it was not a good one for Burns. In second place, Burns made a move for first but contact put him virtually out of the race, finishing four laps down. Chris Ingram finished the race in second place in the amateur class giving him his first podium of the weekend.
In the second race of the weekend (the first round proper at Knockhill), a collision meant the race had to be restarted. The restarted race resulted in another second place finish for Burns, once again behind Wrigley, the championship leader. The amateur class finshed with an identical 1-2 as race 1, Douglas Motorsport’s Chris Ingram in second place once again.
Race 3 was no different for the Pro class, first and second place the same as race 2. Wrigley had 3 wins out of 3 for the weekend, but as he went for a 4th successive victory on Sunday afternoon, a collision saw his hopes of a race win dashed, this gave Burns an ideal chance to capitalise, which he did after spending a number of laps in second place behind sizing up the race leader Hibbert. When Burns spotted a gap he made his move and didnt look back, taking race victory and putting himself clear in second place in the championship, capitalising on the absence of Jamie Orton over the weekend.
After enjoying a successful Saturday, which included 2 second places, Chris Ingram capitalised on Colin White’s retirement in race 3 to take the race win. Race four saw White back to take the race win and Chris Ingram placed second, rounding off a great weekend, apart from the amateur class results Chris place between 6th and 8th in the overall race results over the weekend and sits in second place in the amateur championship.
Chris Ingram (GBR) Douglas Motorsport Ginetta G55.
Race Preview by Ginetta.com
Ginetta’s flagship championship, the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup is an ideal stepping stone into global motorsport for any aspiring racing driver. As a BRDC qualifying championship, it is the go-to grid for stars of the future.
Up until the summer break, the headlines were all about one man, Tom Wrigley. He’s won six of the opening 10 rounds and when he’s not first, he’s been on the podium. As the only driver to have picked up a trophy in every race, it’s not surprising to see him leading the championship by 68 points as we approach the halfway mark.
Bringing the chase are Will Burns and Jamie Orton. The pair are currently tied on 261 points and have each made seven visits to the podium with Orton taking three race wins to Burns’ one. However, Orton is likely to sit out the Knockhill weekend as his wife is expecting their first baby to arrive imminently.
Nipping at their heels, Carl Boardley and Mark Davies round out the top five in the championship, with Boardley enjoying another strong showing with a third and fourth places over the course of the two races at Snetterton.
As if fans weren’t in for enough of a treat, Knockhill should feature four SuperCup outings instead of the usual three after round 11 was postponed due to a severely delayed timetable at Snetterton. As a result, the race has been rescheduled to take place after the normal qualifying session and before the other three already scheduled races in Scotland. As Tom Hibbert was drawn for the reverse grid pole position, you can expect to see him chasing his rostrum debut.
Both Ben Green and Reece Somerfield are eager to add to their single podium appearances of the season. In 2015, Somerfield narrowly missed out on a trophy and will certainly be one to watch this weekend. Don’t discount Callum Pointon or Rob Gaffney though, as they both looked incredibly racy in Norfolk.
In the AM class, it was another Colin White lockout as the points leader took his ninth victory in 10 races. The only other driver to have taken a race win, Grahame Tilley finished second in both outings, but was kept honest by his points rival Chris Ingram.
With James Guess absent, expect either Fraser Robertson or Mike Newbould to move into fifth in class. However, they will need to keep an eye on David Brookes who may be new to the championship but is already challenging for podium positions.
With both Wrigley and White enjoying a healthy championship lead in their respective classes, you can be sure their title rivals will be pushing themselves to the limit as they try to reduce the point’s deficits. With four action packed races ahead, make sure you never miss a minute by following @GinettaCars on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
With a number of weeks to go until the next Ginetta GT4 Supercup round (04 – 05 JUN 2016, Oulton Park), we take a look back at the first two meetings of the championship, Brands Hatch Indy on the opening weekend of the championship year and Donington Park on 16-17 April.
Will Burns, after teaming up with Douglas Motorsport for the 2016 season, began the weekend well with some good practice times and qualified in P5. He followed up a good qualifying session by taking 4th place in his first race with Douglas Motorsport. He followed this up with a podium finish (3rd place) in race number 2. The improvement continued into race number 3 where Will Burns drove superbly to take his debut GT4 win
“This first win has been a long time coming, so I’m delighted to finally get a victory under my belt in the Supercup,” said Burns. “I was sometimes doubting myself as to whether it would come, so it’s going to be a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and a big confidence boost for the rest of the year.
Will Burns: “To be honest we’ve been struggling most the weekend with getting the car where we want it, but the Douglas Motorsport team have been fantastic throughout and we’ve learnt a lot from this weekend to take into the next few meetings.
“Picking up points and podium finishes is key in this championship, so to start the season with three top four finishes is brilliant, and if we can get those results with a car that was by no means perfect, we’ve definitely got a lot more to come.”
In round four of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup series, Douglas Motorsport‘s Will Burns qualified fifth, Chris Ingram took fifteenth place with Mike Newbould not far behind in seventeenth.
In the first race of the weekend, Burns steadily improved as he started from fifth to claim a hard won podium position in third. Ingram successfully held his qualifying position, crossing the line in fifteenth, followed closely by Newbould who moved up to sixteenth.
Round five saw Burns improve again for Douglas Motorsport as he secured second place, Ingram once again improving to fourteenth and Newbould finishing right behind in fifteenth.
The final round of the weekend proved more testing for Douglas Motorsport as Burns finished in eleventh position, Ingram in fifteenth with an unfortunate DNF for Newbould. Burns now lies third in the title standings, meaning Douglas Motorsport is represented in the top three of all championships they compete in this year.
Having taking a win in the opening rounds of the BRDC F3 series last week, Douglas Motorsport carried their rich vein of form onto Brands Hatch for the opening rounds of the 2016 Ginetta championships at the weekend.
Harper excelled in Round 2
As reigning winter series champion, Stuart Middleton was the favourite ahead of the opening rounds of the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior series- and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Starting from pole position in the opening race, Stuart fell back initially, but fought his way into the lead before a robust move from Dave Wooder dropped him to fourth place. He fought back yet again though, and crossed the line in second place, also setting fastest lap. Race two, described by many as the race of the day, was a close fought affair, with Middleton grabbing the lead on the opening lap and soaking up the pressure for the duration to take an impressive win, and with it the lead of the close fought Junior series! In his wake, however, all eyes were on rookie Daniel Harper who was tackling the more experienced drivers with aplomb, incredibly running as high as third at one stage, before contact sent him back down the field. He recovered to take a fine sixth though and won the Rookie class comfortably. Enzo Fittipaldi was unlucky to receive contact on the opening lap, spinning him to the back, in no way reflecting the pace he had shown in free practise at the start of the weekend.
Will Burns Tops the Podium
In the opening round of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup series, Douglas Motorsport’s Will Burns drove superbly to take his debut GT4 win. having finished fourth in race one and third in race two, he didn’t put a foot wrong in a shortened race three to take a popular win- rounding off a hugely successful weekend for the Corby based team. Team mate Chris Ingram drove well to take a podium in the Am class of the Supercup while Mike Newbold progressed well over the weekend and enjoyed his first race weekend as part of the BTCC package.
Stuart Middleton, Douglas Motorsport “ It has been an amazing opening weekend of the championship for me and my team, Douglas Motorsport. We hope to continue our strong form and keep achieving consistent podium finishing results throughout the year.”
Daniel Harper, Douglas Motorsport. “It was a brilliant start to the championship for both me and Douglas Motorsport with some really strong results in the Rookie championship with a third and a win I race two and also with Stuart leading the overall championship. A big thanks to everyone at Douglas Motorsport and to all my family and sponsors.” Wayne Douglas, Team Principal, Douglas Motorsport: “It has been another strong weekend for the team. Stuart drove beautifully for the win, as we have come to expect. Daniel was a revelation and was unlucky not to join Stuart on the podium, whilst Enzo showed great pace, but luck was not with him this weekend. For Will to take a debut 2016 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup win was the icing on the cake for us too!”
The next rounds of the Ginetta championships take place on April 16/17 at Donington Park, once again supporting the BTCC.