2013 Ginetta GT5 Challenge runner-up Will Burns is getting ready for the biggest season of his motorsport career to date, as he makes a full-time entry into the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
It’s been a swift rise up the motorsport ladder for the 22 year old, who only made his car-racing debut four years ago in the Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship, with no previous karting experience to his name.
After two seasons at Castle Combe, Burns made the move into the GT5 Challenge with Academy Motorsport and followed up four podiums in his debut campaign with a superb championship challenge in 2013.
Battling with team-mate and eventual champion Oliver Basey-Fisher, as well as fellow Supercup graduates Luke Davenport and David Pittard, Burns impressed with seven wins, more than any other driver.
Burns also made his debut in the Supercup at the end of the season in the G50 class. An eight race stint gave him the chance to get to grips with more powerful machinery ahead of his entry this season, and unexpectedly produced a final result of third overall in the G50 class standings.
“I was hoping to run a G55 initially, but there were none available at the time,” Burns told TCF. “The G50 was a gradual step up, and it allowed by to get used to what happened on the TOCA package weekends and get some experience on the Supercup grid to help prepare me for this season.”
Burns will remain with Academy Motorsport for his first full Supercup campaign this year, with the team having been instrumental in his Challenge successes. The Weston Super Mare-based racer feels having a team around him that he knows well will only help his transition into the championship.
“It’s really important to have that chemistry with a team,” he explained. “I know what my mechanics ask of me and how we operate, and they know my driving style so they can adapt the car for me a lot quicker than a new team would. I get along with them well, and with the success we had last year, it was a no-brainer to continue with Academy.”
After getting behind the wheel of his Ginetta G55 GT4 during pre-season testing, Burns is feeling confident ahead of the new campaign and is looking forward to embracing all the challenges the step up to the Supercup brings.
“This season is really my time to try and show what I can do on the TOCA package,” he commented. “Considering the G40 Challenge car was the most powerful car I’d ever driven, this is a really big step up for me, and the driving style required is completely different for the G55.
“I was struggling at first in my testing programme, but slowly and steadily I’m starting to show a bit of pace and look competitive amongst the experienced Supercup drivers.
“Hopefully by the end of the season, I would like to be the top rookie, and I feel that’s a realistic goal as I’m at a similar level to the other guys joining. A couple of podiums here or there would be great too.”
*The Checkered Flag spoke with Will Burns at the recent Ginetta Media Day at Silverstone. The 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup kicks off next weekend (29/30 March) at Brands Hatch.*