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Burns, Smalley And Burton Take GT4 SuperCup Win Apiece At Snetterton

26th October 2020 • Simon Paice

Will Burns is on the verge of taking the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup title after sharing the wins with Adam Smalley and Gus Burton in the penultimate meeting of the season at Snetterton (24/25 October).

The weekend began with qualifying on Saturday morning and a rapid late lap from Burns (Rob Boston Racing) secured him a second consecutive pole position ahead of Burton (Century Motorsport), Jamie Falvey (Motion Capital Racing) and Smalley (Elite Motorsport).

A thrilling start to the opening race that afternoon saw the top four almost run side-by-side into Riches for the first time. Unfortunately they wouldn’t all make it through the corner though, with title contender Burton being spun off circuit and into an early retirement.

The other three came through unscathed though and Burns ultimately emerged from the opening lap with a near one second lead at the front. The two-time GT4 SuperCup vice-champion went on to control that gap for the remainder of the race en-route to a fifth win of 2020.

Falvey settled into second and despite Smalley posting the fastest lap of the race in pursuit, those two ran in formation throughout to complete the podium. Not far adrift was Tom Hibbert (Triple M Motorsport) ahead of Joe Marshall-Birks (Rob Boston Racing).

Four drivers were making their championship debut in the race, and leading those was Luke Reade (Graves Motorsport) in sixth overall. Behind was the top two in Pro Am, with Colin White (CWS Motorsport) heading the class for most of the race.

Tom Emson (Elite Motorsport) piled on the pressure though and got ahead on the last lap for his seventh consecutive class win. Simon Traves (Assetto Motorsport) completed the class podium on his debut, while fellow newcomer Dan Morris (Triple M Motorsport) scored the Am victory.

Overnight rain meant the field were greeted by greasy track conditions for race two on Sunday morning. Adapting superbly to them in the early stages was Smalley, who swept past pole-sitter Burns on the second lap and stormed clear to a lead of over four seconds.

As the race progressed, the circuit started to favour Burns and he posted the fastest lap of the race as he hunted down the leader. In the end he got the gap down to less than a second, but Smalley held on for a third win of the season so far.

Bouncing back superbly from his race one retirement, Burton rose from the rear of the Pro grid to third within three laps and held position to the finish. Behind, Hibbert and Marshall-Birks produced some epic side-by-side action as they duelled for fourth.

A late incident lost Marshall-Birks some time, but he was still able to complete the top five behind Hibbert. A brilliant sixth place to secure the highest overall finish by an Am driver this season was Morris, who was followed home by his 2019 Ginetta G40 Cup sparring rival Chris Salkeld.

Salkeld (Assetto Motorsport) picked up a third class win of the season after an unfortunate retirement for Emson whilst leading. White was second, while securing the final place on the podium was Callum Jenkins (Team HARD) on his series debut.

Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport) and Carl Garnett (AK Motorsport) fought it out for second in the Am class, with a late spin for Lines opening the door for Garnett to take the spot. Fourth in class meanwhile was Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport) following a race one podium.

The track was completely dry by the time the reverse grid final race of the weekend came around, which was televised live on ITV4. Debutant Reade started on pole position, however a rapid launch from the second row for Hibbert propelled him into the lead.

Reade held second through the opening lap ahead of Burton, Falvey and Smalley, while a dramatic moment behind saw points leader Burns tagged into a spin. He recovered at the rear of the field and soon focused on mounting a recovery drive.

Burton slipped past Reade for second on lap two and soon closed onto the rear bumper of Hibbert. The action was neutralised for a short safety car period, and when the action resumed Burton wasted little time in making a successful move for the race lead.

Sliding down the inside at Murrays, Falvey followed him through for second place. Those two ran in formation to the finish, with Hibbert going on to join them on the podium. Smalley was fourth, while Burns benefitted from the safety car to impressively end his fightback in fifth overall.

Reade was sixth and Marshall-Birks completed the Pro class contenders after losing ground on the opening lap. Emson split them in the overall results, having bounced back from his race two retirement with another Pro Am victory after passing White in the first half of the race.

White and Salkeld completed the class podium once again, while from the back of the Am class reverse grid, Morris stormed through to complete a hat-trick of wins for his debut weekend. Halstead and Lines joined him on the podium.

The 2020 Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season concludes in three weeks’ time (14/15 November) at Brands Hatch. Burns and Burton will battle it out for the Pro title, White, Salkeld and Emson are in contention in Pro Am, while Lines, Garnett and Halstead could all win in Am.

Full race results for the weekend can be viewed here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/204303