Fri 10 Feb 2023

Crafty Creighton opens hefty Junior WRC lead

William Creighton capitalised on his prior FIA Junior WRC knowledge to end Rally Sweden’s opening leg with a sizeable lead in the one-make M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 series.

Creighton, who begins his third consecutive campaign at this week’s opening round, is the only driver with recent Junior WRC experience.

The Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy hotshot capitalised on that knowledge by being the fastest out of the blocks, winning the opening four snow-covered speed tests to establish a 30.5sec by the time he arrived at Friday’s mid-leg service back in Umeå.

There was a slight change in tempo over the second pass, however, as Junior ERC graduate Laurent Pellier claimed two stage wins in the rutted conditions. Nevertheless, Creighton’s lead was never in doubt, and he extended his buffer to 34.5sec at close of play.

Grégoire Munster, making a guest appearance in the category, completed the early podium, albeit a chunky 1min 2.4sec off the pace. Behind him was Paraguay’s Diego Dominguez, who missed out on the SS8 win by just one-tenth of a second.

Spanish duo Raul Hernández and Roberto Blach placed fifth and sixth respectively, while Tom Rensonnet and Hamza Anwar completed the leaderboard.

Championship newcomer Eamonn Kelly made a strong start and briefly ran as high as fifth overall despite nursing a puncture through SS3. However, the Irishman’s bid was quickly turned on its head when he rolled into retirement on the penultimate stage.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM