Sun 10 Sep 2023

Irishman Creighton crowned FIA Junior WRC champion*

William Creighton is the 2023 FIA Junior WRC champion* with his fifth-place finish at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece enough for he and co-driver Liam Regan to secure the coveted crown.

25-year-old Creighton becomes the first Irishman to win the series since his compatriot Craig Breen, who tragically passed away in April this year, achieved the feat in 2011.  

Beating the odds after retiring on Friday morning with radiator damage, Creighton rejoined the action on Saturday and climbed the one-make Ford Fiesta Rally3 category leaderboard, his mission helped slightly when fellow championship challenger Laurent Pellier was sidelined by gearbox woes on the penultimate day.

He ended the season eight points clear of Diego Domínguez, winner of this final round, while the disappointed Pellier finished third in the series. Ultimately it was Creighton's tally of 34 stage wins across the season, for which each was awarded a single bonus point, which proved to be the deciding factor. Dominguez's total, in comparison, was just eight.

"It's unbelievable, honestly," said a joyous Creighton. "After what happened on Friday, like it says on the car: 'never give up'. We didn't, but of course we knew there was going to be a slim chance and it was going to be difficult.

"We dug deep and tried and of course things went our way, but we also had to show good pace and stage wins. It's crazy when you think about all the stage wins throughout the year, our win in Sweden and how tight that was. And now it's come down to this, it's just unbelievable."

Creighton's prize includes four arrive-and-drive WRC2 outings behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2 in 2024, a pre-event test prior to each round plus 200 tyres courtesy of Pirelli.

"To emulate what Craig [Breen] did," he continued, "I know he would have been right in the middle of all this right now and he would've been so happy. We all go rallying to have fun and what happened to him is so sad. I've definitely been thinking about him."

Behind Dominguez in the rally classification was Eamonn Kelly, who secured the runner-up spot despite nursing a cracked gearbox casing on Sunday morning. Tom Rensonnet, hailing from Belgium, was third. *Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA.

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