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Moira rally driver William Creighton proved his Junior British Rally Championship pace this season has been no fluke, by storming to third overall at last weekend’s Tyrone Stages Rally (19 October), behind the wheel of a DGM Sport Ford Fiesta R5, only his second ever event in R5 machinery.

Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan set a string of top-three stage times on their way to a podium spot against experienced Irish Tarmac Rally Championship contenders. The outing marked Creighton’s return to four-wheel-drive after taking a Citroen DS3 R5 to second place on the very same event in 2018.

The 21-year-old from Co. Down has enjoyed a buoyant year in the ultra-competitive Junior BRC and Irish Tarmac Rally Championship which saw him become R2 champion and JBRC runner up. However, that second place in the championship was only made possible by a gutsy performance, with bad luck contrasting impressive comeback drives throughout the season.

A win on the final round of the JBRC at the Galloway Hills Rally in his Peugeot 208 R2 was a highlight for the youngster, climbing from last place to win the Junior category and confirm his ability behind the wheel.

His drives this season had caught the eye of the prestigious Billy Coleman Award panel, netting a nomination for his performances. The winner of the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year Award is in line to receive €100,000 worth of support to contest rallies nationally & internationally in 2020, thanks to support from Sport Ireland and Motorsport Ireland.

Creighton would head to the Benone based rally in a Fiesta R5 for the very first time, with just a short pre-event test allowing him to acclimatise to his new surroundings. However, he showed no sign of ‘bedding in’ as stopped the clocks just 10 seconds shy of the leader on the opening stage of the event.

That impressive start was followed up on the very next test, going just three seconds slower than the leaders more powerful World Rally Car. Creighton professed to be “getting to grips” with the DGM Sport Fiesta.

“It’s great to be back in an R5 again, I had forgotten just how great they are to drive” said Creighton during the day. “I feel very at home to be honest and I`m not taking any risks at all. It’s all about learning the car and gaining experience for the future, but the times look good and I seem to be getting to grips with it without too many issues”.

Despite his relaxed approach, Creighton was punching well above his weight and set two fastest times in the process. After a fourteen-stage nip-and-tuck battle for the podium positions, Creighton secured an impressive third overall, winning his class in the process.

“I’m delighted with that result” beamed Creighton at the finish. “To be battling with some great Tarmac guys in only my second four-wheel-drive rally is really encouraging and it was great fun as well. It was a fantastic experience and I have to say a huge thanks to Creightons and DGM Sport for their support. I`m already looking forward to the next outing, whenever that will be.”

Creighton will now focus on the Billy Coleman Award which holds its final selection process in the coming weeks.

Image credit: DMC Photos

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