Will Burns has taken a big step towards potentially stealing the 2016 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup title with victory in the opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch GP.
Burns converted his maiden championship pole position into his third race win of the season, though he had to work hard for it as Mark Davies grabbed the lead early on.
After storming around the outside of Jack Mitchell at Graham Hill Bend on the opening lap, Davies latched onto the tail of Burns and stormed down the inside into Paddock Hill on lap two.
As the race developed it was Burns who seemed able to find the most grip, with Davies suffering a couple of wide moments in the middle portion of the race.
The title contender grabbed the lead with a fantastic dive into Paddock Hill Bend on lap seven, and immediately stamped his authority to build a one second lead by the end of the lap.
From there the Douglas Motorsport ace wouldn’t be headed as he cruised to a crucial victory, with Davies and Mitchell completing the podium – the latters first top three in the series.
That result for Burns was coupled with a difficult outing for championship leader Tom Wrigley, who wasn’t able to make as much progress as anticipated from tenth on the grid.
Moving up to seventh over the course of the first two laps, that would be as far as the Rob Boston Racing driver would go, meaning Burns crucially gained 19 points in the title fight.
The three drivers between Wrigley and the podium were Carl Boardley, Tom Hibbert and Callum Pointon, with it being a relatively action free encounter for the trio.
Ben Green took eighth, while series debutant Jack Bartholomew bounced back from a tough opening lap to take ninth at the finish ahead of Rob Gaffney.
Another driver having a tougher than anticipated race was Jamie Orton, who suffered a couple of wide moments early on and could only recover to eleventh ahead of Reece Somerfield.
In the AM class, Colin White fought through in the closing laps to take the victory and with it the class title with two races to spare, with Chris Ingram and Grahame Tilley completing the podium.
Full race results can be found here.