A hat-trick winning weekend for Team Century saw them walk away with not only the race win but the 2021 British GT Teams and Drivers Championship. Century are the first team, since 2015, to claim the title on the penultimate round of the season.
Heading into the weekend, Will Burns and Gus Burton had a 44.5 points advantage over teammates Chris Salkeld and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke.
On Saturday, the first qualifying session got underway at Oulton Park. Burns’ tremendous effort put him in second place. Salkeld in #9 BMW was next to cross the line to put the car in seventh place. The second session began, and Burton took his place behind the wheel of the #57 BMW, eventually qualifying in fifth place, but ahead of their nearest rivals.
In the first of the two one-hour sprint races, both BMWs took to the grid. When the lights went off, Burns quickly took the lead of the race. Salkeld got off the grid well and started to move his way through the field. The pit window opened, and Burns pitted to make way for Burton, but with a 14-second extra stop due to the silver / silver pairing, they re-joined in second place, where they finished. After the round of pit stops, Gordon-Colebrooke emerged to start making his way up the field. Unfortunately, mid-race contact meant the #9 BMW was unable to continue.
The start of Race 2 saw tricky, wet conditions, while the drivers lined up to go to the start grid. Brilliant work by Team Century, after damage in Race 1, saw Gordon-Colebrooke line up on the grid. A mid-race safety car saw the perfect opportunity for BMW #57 and #9 to pit for their mandatory driver change. Salkeld emerged from the pits in fourth place in the #9 GT4 BMW, with Burns directly behind him in fifth.
Burns managed to overtake Salkeld for fourth place. Unfortunately, while Salkeld, later on in the race, battled in third place, the BMW received a penalty, dropping him down the order.
With only 3 minutes left on the clock, Burns pulled off a sensational move to take the lead of the race. The chequered flag dropped, Burns and Burton had not only won the race but also became 2021 British GT Champions. The pairing have made British GT history by sealing the championship before the last round of the season, becoming the first pairing to do so in 6 years. It’s Burns and Burton’s 3rd victory this season and 6th podium in 8 races
Nathan Freke – Team Principal
“To win the British GT Drivers and teams championships ahead of the final round is a dream come true.
Will and Gus have done a fantastic job all year and we have provided them with the foundations to showcase their speed and talent.
The BMW M4 has performed faultlessly all year and with the EVO upgrade this year just shows what a force to be reckoned with it is.
We will be heading into the final round still with work to do though. Our aim is to secure 2nd in the championship with car #9 and we will put everything we have into making that happen.
All of us at Century Motorsport put our heart and soul into our work and its times like this where we get our rewards. Thanks to everyone who has played a role within the team this season”
“What a spectacular season we have had at Century Motorsport. I am immensely proud of all the guys who have gone above and beyond to get us on the top step this year. I am so pleased we could bring home the GT4 drivers and teams title for all their hard work. A massive thank you to Gus for all his hard work and dedication this year. He has an amazing talent and has a bright future ahead for sure”
“I’d like to thank Century Motorsport for providing Will and myself with an outstanding and faultless car throughout the year, giving us the strongest foundation to win a championship. My co-driver Will Burns and I have formed a very strong relationship over the last 2 years and I knew from the start of the season we would be one of, if not the strongest pairings on the grid. It’s been a phenomenal year so far and I can’t wait for the final weekend at Donington!”
P2 is still all to play for, as Team Century heads to the final round of the season at Donington Park on the 16th/17th October.