The quick-fire start to the condensed 2020 season saw the GT4 SuperCup contenders tackling their third event in four weekends. The trip to Cheshire provided a new challenge for them as the summer heatwave was replaced with wet weather for the first time this season.
Rain was falling as the field kicked off qualifying on Saturday, but the track dried as the session wore on. It was Will Burns (Rob Boston Racing) who used all his experience in a Ginetta G55 GT4 to storm to pole position in the tricky conditions by nearly three quarters of a second.
It was the usual suspects at the head of the pack Gus Burton (Century Motorsport) and Tom Hibbert (Triple M Motorsport) completed the top three. Tom Emson (Elite Motorsport) set the pace in Pro Am, while Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport) continued his 100% Am pole record for 2020.
The opening race followed later that day and the key moment came right at the start, as a lightning launch from Burton led to him storming around the outside of Burns to seize the race lead. Breaking clear almost immediately, he led every lap for a second win of the season.
Burns pushed hard to chase the leader but he had to settle for second, while Hibbert ran third throughout. One of the closest battles of the race came for fourth, as Joe Marshall-Birks (Rob Boston Racing) fended off Adam Smalley (Elite Motorsport) and Jamie Falvey (Motion Capital Racing).
Marshall-Birks defended the position well to the finish, but a five second penalty for track limits infringements dropped him to sixth in the final result. Fin Green (Rob Boston Racing) was seventh on the road, however a false start penalty put him tenth on the final results.
He was dropped behind the Pro Am contenders, who were headed by Colin White (CWS Motorsport) as he recorded his milestone 100th podium finish in the GT4 SuperCup. Chris Salkeld (Assetto Motorsport) was second, with Emson having slipped from pole to third on lap one.
There were early changes in the AM class too, with Halstead and then Peter Mangion (Elite Motorsport) dropping out of the lead. Carl Garnett (AK Motorsport) came through to a brilliant maiden class win, with Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport) and Mangion on the podium.
The second and final race of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon, with live television coverage on ITV4. There was immediate action at the front, as title contenders Hibbert and Burns touched at the first corner, sending the latter onto the grass and to the back of the pack.
A loss of momentum cost Hibbert too as he slipped to fifth place, meaning it was now Falvey who now led the chasing pack to poleman Burton as the race headed into a safety car period. At the restart, the leader immediately stamped his authority on the race.
Three consecutive fastest laps built him a three second lead at the front, which he held to the flag for his third win of the year. Falvey followed him home to complete a Century Motorsport one-two, meaning the team become the first to reach 100 overall podium finishes in the GT4 SuperCup.
It was also a first podium finish for Falvey, while Smalley was hot on his heels as he picked up his second rostrum for the season. Hibbert fought back to fourth at the finish ahead of Marshall-Birks, with Burns recovering to sixth in the Pro’s ahead of Reece Somerfield (Privateer).
White recorded his fifth Pro Am success of the season so far ahead of Salkeld and Green, while Garnett led the Am’s throughout to ensure all three classes featured double race winners. Lines and Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport) completed the Am podium.
The Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup now enters its mini ‘summer break’ with a four week gap until the next rounds at Thruxton in Hampshire on September 19/20.