> Reigning teams’ and drivers’ champions eyeing historic feat
> Burns joined by Spa winner Brown while Salkeld also returns in second BMW
Century Motorsport and Will Burns return to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship this season in a bid to defend their teams’ and drivers’ titles.
Burns and Gus Burton dominated last year’s GT4 class en route to the Overall and Silver Cup crowns, while Century wrapped up their second teams’ success with BMW after first triumphing in 2018.
Now, along with new co-driver and fellow race winner Jack Brown, Burns is hoping to become British GT’s first-ever two-time GT4 champion. Should he succeed, it would be the 31-year-old’s third title in as many years after also winning the 2020 Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
“It will be hard to top last year’s success, and there’s a reason why no-one’s ever won two in a row, but I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think we had a good chance,” said Burns. “Equally, I wasn’t prepared to make up the numbers for the sake of it, which speaks volumes for my faith in Century and Jack who really grew in confidence after winning at Spa last year. He was untouchable that day, and it's that level that we’ll be tapping into again this season.”
Indeed, it’s not just Burns’ pedigree that makes this an exciting partnership; Brown’s emergence over the second half of 2021 – a campaign featuring his and Ashley Marshall’s dominant win at Spa – suggests the former Balfe Motorsport driver is ready for a title tilt after finishing sixth overall last term.
“I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than to be alongside the reigning champion in the same car and team that dominated 2021,” he said. “British GT was a big step up from my previous programmes but the experience I gained throughout the year plus the proven combination I’m joining means there are no excuses, really. Of course, it won’t be easy – Gus [Burton] has metaphorically and physically large shoes to fill! – but we’ll certainly be well prepared at Oulton given the continuity between Will, Century and BMW.”
Burns and Brown are joined by another of Century’s returning drivers, Chris Salkeld, who again pilots the second M4 GT4. Although currently in talks with several potential partners the team is eager to hear from prospective bronze and silver-graded drivers.
Salkeld finished one place ahead of Brown last season and is confident of making further progress thanks to his existing experience of the M4.
“I learnt a lot throughout 2021, and especially from Will and Gus who obviously had an incredible season. That’s something I will be drawing on this year,” he said. “The mid-season move from Pro-Am to Silver Cup disrupted things a little but I still finished just 10 points behind second overall, and that was largely thanks to a very difficult final three races where we only scored 3.5 points. Even an average end to the season would have seen Andrew [Gordon-Colebrooke] and I finish second or third. So the pace is definitely there.”
As well as Salkeld’s co-driver, Century are expected to announce their GT3 plans before British GT reveals its full-season entry list in a few weeks’ time.
Oulton Park stages the opening round of Season 30 on April 16 & 18.