Wed 25 May 2022

Creighton gets tips from legend Grönholm

It’s not often a two-time WRC champion offers to jump in a rally car with you. But when they do, you have to make the most of it.

FIA Junior WRC hotshot William Creighton found that out last Thursday when rally legend Marcus Grönholm rocked up to the Parades shakedown at Vodafone Rally de Portugal. 

Creighton was only too pleased to welcome Grönholm aboard his M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 for a short blast, and he even managed to get a few tips from the Finn ahead of the championship’s third round.  

“I knew nothing about it,” laughed Creighton. ‘I had my head under the wheel arch because I was making some set-up changes after the first pass of shakedown.

“The next thing I knew, I looked up and Marcus Grönholm was stood there in a full race suit ready to go. That was a good start to the week and I’ll be able to tell that story for a lot of years to come. 

“Marcus was really cool and even getting to speak to a two-time world champion is awesome, never mind having them actually in your car for a stage. 

“I think he was trying to be quite polite and I was obviously trying to get as much as I could out of him in a short space of time. He gave me a few pointers on my driving and some of the advice was really interesting,” he added. 

Sadly, the Irishman’s went downhill from there and he became one of several drivers who were  forced into early retirement by rough second pass conditions. 

Creighton restarted on Saturday and clinched a stage victory on the classic Amarante test, but failed to finish after clipping a bank and damaging the car’s suspension on the final leg. 

“From a competitive side of things, it wasn’t good,” he admitted. “You’ve got to remember you're competing in the WRC events, though, and that’s a privilege. 

“Our rally was kind of over before it started on Friday when we got more punctures than we had spare wheels. It’s really frustrating because Portugal is an event I know from last year and I felt really relaxed going into it. 

“I think our speed would have been good and we were really looking forward to it, so it kind of felt like we had all that taken away from us. 

“The stages were so rough and I don’t think I was doing anything with my driving to cause the punctures, but I’ll definitely look into it for the future and see if there’s anything I could have done differently.” 

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