Moira rally driver William Creighton will aim to get his Junior British Rally Championship campaign off to the best possible start this weekend, as the season gets underway at the Llandudno based Cambrian Rally.
The Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Award nominee has made the switch to a brand new M-Sport Ford Fiesta R2 for the forthcoming season, as the Junior BRC switches to a single make formula, with the winner awarded a €60,000 prize fund towards an FIA Junior World Rally Championship programme the following year thanks to M-Sport and Pirelli.
Despite the change of machinery, Creighton will be heading to the season opener with his sights sets firmly on a solid start to his championship campaign with the goal of a “strong points haul” the main focus as he beds into the new Fiesta.
The 22-year-old from Co. Down has been involved in motorsport most of his life and after winning the Ulster Kart Championship in 2012 he graduated to rallying where he honed his competitive skills on the stages.
Success has come at all levels for the youngster, with recent accolades including class titles in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the FIA Celtic Trophy and Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship as well as taking Junior BRC runner up in 2017 and 2019.
Now Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan will face a brace of rapid young drivers in identical machinery, all vying for a top-line prize and the chance to progress onto the world’s stage the following season.
“This is probably a very different season to anything we have experienced before so I think it will need a different approach,” says Creighton.
“My previous experience of most of the events in the championship will certainly be an advantage and that should work in my favour, but truthfully I`m having to learn a brand new car and it really is remarkably different to my previous Peugeot. It’s going to be tough to be on the pace from the word go so I need to remain realistic this weekend.”
The Cambrian Rally utilises stages from Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB. Creighton is no stranger to the tricky and often muddy forests but has only managed a short pre-event test ahead of Saturday’s rally.
“My driving style will really have to change hugely to get the most out of the car. The turbo really adds a different dimension to how you approach corners and technical sections and it’s really quite difficult to figure out just how fast you are going. It doesn’t scream at you like the Peugeot did.”
Creighton will be run by DGM Sport with backing from Creighton’s, Race and Rally and Pirelli this season and is well aware of the main aim in 2020.
“It’s a six-round season and we can’t win that here, but we can lose it. I need to approach this weekend with a level head and manage my pace well enough to get a solid haul of points. It’s no time to be a hero, but we are here for the title and that’s at the forefront of everything we do this season.”
The Cambrian Rally is based in Llandudno and sees crews contest over 43 miles in the North Wales forests.