Maiden GT4 European Series podium for Weston's Burns in Belgium
- Credit: SRO
Weston's Will Burns enjoyed a brilliant maiden podium in the GT4 European Series at the world famous Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium at the weekend.
The double-header in the Ardennes Forest began with the fifth event of the 2022 British GT season, with Burns and teammate Jack Brown looking to build on their first win of the series at Snetterton.
Burns, third at Spa last year en route to the British GT4 title, had the fastest time in Friday's second test session but the Century Motorsport crew struggled to replicate that the next day.
After qualifying 10th on the grid for Sunday's two-hour race, Burns woke up with a stomach bug that had swept through the paddock but made some good progress in the BMW M4 GT4 to climb to sixth place.
After a lengthy pitstop - with the maximum 20-second success penalty due to their Snetterton victory - Brown brought the car home in 10th place overall and seventh in the Silver class.
After a vital rest day, Burns was back on the 3.5-mile circuit for testing ahead of the European Series weekend with Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport teammate Berkay Besler.
Despite being limited to just one free practice session on Thursday, the pair produced a season's best qualifying performance as Besler took P14 on the grid for race one and Burns posted a phenomenal lap to secure P5 for Sunday's outing.
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Besler rose to seventh after a sensational start and benefitted from a retirement ahead to ultimately work his way into the top three befoer handing over to Burns.
Emerging in fourth, he pulled off an opportunistic move to take third and after running side-by-side with an Audi through the Eau Rouge corner, secured a first European podium with third in the Silver class.
The second race was an anti climax with an early incident leading to 20 minutes behind the safety car, but Burns held onto a top-six spot and Besler came home in fifth after another safety car incident, before a post-race time penalty dropped them to 21st.
Burns said: "It's been a challenging couple of weeks in Belgium, so to come away with a first podium in the European GT Series was a great feeling.
"The team have worked incredibly hard with the car across the season, so I'm pleased we could reward their efforts.
"It was a tougher weekend in British GT. We gave it everything we had and will be pushing to come back stronger next time."
The European GT4 Series heads to Hockenheim in Germany (September 2-4), before the British GT Championship returns at Brands Hatch (September 10-11).