WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Wed 13 Sep 2023

“Craig would have been so happy” - Junior WRC champion Creighton

William Creighton’s capture of the 2023 FIA Junior WRC crown was made even more special by the fact that he was able follow in the tyre tracks of compatriot Craig Breen, he says.

Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan’s fifth-place finish at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece was enough to confirm the pair as champions* of the one-make M-Sport Poland Ford Fiesta Rally3 series, which took place across five rallies this season.

In doing so, Creighton became the first Irish driver to clinch the coveted crown since Craig Breen, driving a Ford Fiesta R2 at the time, achieved the feat in 2011.

Paying tribute to Breen, who was an enthusiastic supporter of local talent before he tragically lost his life in a testing accident earlier this year, the 25-year-old said: “To emulate what Craig did… I know he would have been right in the middle of this right now and he would have been so happy. We all go rallying to have fun and what happened to him is so sad. I’ve definitely been thinking of him.

“For everyone in the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, not just me, he was there. You know, he was very close to Josh (McErlean). So to do something that we know he has done, it makes it all that bit more emotional. I’m delighted.”

Creighton’s outing on last week’s Acropolis was a roller coaster ride in itself. Hit by engine cooling problems, he and Regan pushed their car almost three kilometres from the finish of SS3 to Friday's tyre fitting zone - only to retire shortly afterwards.

But just as their title challenge looked to be over, championship rival Laurent Pellier also hit trouble when he retired with a broken gearbox.

“I honestly thought that that was it done,” Creighton revealed. “But you don’t have an option, you just have to try again. We had the car, so it was easy in a way - we just had to go flat-out and just try to get as many stage win points as possible.

“What happened to Laurent was unfortunate and, obviously with Diego (Dominguez), we managed to get enough stage win points to stay in front of him. Like I’ve said, I’ve got so many people to thank and I’m just so happy for everybody who put in the effort that we can return it in this way."

*Subject to confirmation of the results by the FIA