William Creighton launches a seven-round World Rally Championship WRC2 programme
Junior World Rally Champion makes a career-defining move, starting with Rally Sweden
Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver adds to JWRC prize drive with additional, iconic European WRC events
Moira ace will campaign an M-Sport run Ford Fiesta Rally2
Reigning FIA Junior World Rally Champion William Creighton will take a significant step in his motorsport career, by tackling the FIA World Rally Championship WRC2 series in 2024 behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2.
Creighton, from Moira in Co. Armagh secured a four-round WRC2 programme and Pirelli tyre package thanks to winning the coveted FIA Junior World Rally Championship title in 2023. Thanks to the support of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan will bolster their campaign to seven events, enabling the crew to compete for the WRC2 and WRC Challenger category, considered the feeder series to the top-flight Rally1.
“Winning the Junior WRC title last year gave us a really good WRC2 programme to look forward to courtesy of the fantastic prize put on offer by M-Sport Poland and Pirelli,” says Creighton.
“But thanks to the support of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, we have managed to increase our campaign to seven rounds in 2024 and it’s quite simply an unbelievable opportunity, which Liam and I are determined to make the most of”.
Creighton has enjoyed a dynamic and successful motorsport career. Starting on the racetrack, he became the Ulster Kart champion in 2012 before moving into rallying and the Junior 1000 series, developing into one of the most experienced Junior drivers of the current era.
He would go on to become Junior British Rally Champion before launching onto the world’s stage, tackling two seasons in the hotly contested Junior WRC, before finally clinching the prestigious title with a last-round thriller in Greece at the Acropolis Rally. His progression up the FIA rally development pyramid was textbook, using the Rally4 to Rally3 ladder to maximum effect.
Creighton believes he has had the proper grounding to enable him to tackle one of the most competitive series in the world.
“I’ve worked hard throughout every stage of my career and progressed up the ranks from national level into the Junior WRC. Each season has been valuable and my time in the Junior WRC was incredible. I learned so much about the sport, my driving, resilience, and attitude. I feel it’s a good time in my career to make the full-time transition to a Rally2 Fiesta.”
Two outings in Rally2 machinery came with PCRS Rallysport at Rally Spain in 2022 and Rallye Monte Carlo the following year, offering a glimpse into the forthcoming season for the young driver. But with the WRC2 elite enjoying many years of experience at that level, Creighton remains realistic about the season ahead.
“It’s the most challenging campaign I've ever had and I`ve been working hard over the winter with the Academy to ensure that I am fit and ready to hit the ground running. To prepare for the high-speed roads found in WRC Sweden, we will be heading to the LBC-Ruschen rally the week before to get seat time and snow miles under our belts before we start the WRC2 Campaign”.
“The level of competition at the front of WRC2 is extremely high so I`m under no illusion of the challenge that lies ahead of us. The goal is most certainly to build our experience as the year progresses and as I become comfortable with the Fiesta Rally2 we will look to target the events that I have experience of”.
“I`m hugely privileged to be continuing this journey with the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy alongside me and representing Ireland on the world’s stage. I can't thank them and my partners enough for all their support. I am also delighted to continue my long-term partnership with Liam [Regan], we enjoyed great success together throughout 2023 and are both very excited to get the 2024 season underway.”
“Being part of a world-class team like M-Sport is also very exciting indeed and having collaborated with them for several years in JWRC, I’m confident I’m in the right hands. It's going to be an incredibly special season and I can’t wait to get underway.”
Maciej Woda, Director of M-Sport Poland
“It’s a pleasure for me to see William stepping up into the Rally2 car, following his win in Junior WRC last year”.
“He joined Juniors three years ago and to see his progression and the transition from inexperienced youngster, into a mature driver, capable of winning rallies on all surfaces, was something great to watch”.
“Both William and Liam are great characters, so for sure we will miss them at Junior WRC, but we will all watch them and will follow their next steps of their career. We wish William and Liam all the best and can’t wait to see them on the stages.”
Richard Millener, M-Sport Team Principal
"We're thrilled to have Will join the team in WRC2 this year. Seeing him make the step up to the Fiesta Rally2 from his win in the Junior category perfectly exemplifies M-Sport's progression pyramid, and we're looking forward to seeing him progress this season."
It's a big step up to Rally2, but Will is aware of the challenges that face him and we know he's excited to learn all he can and take this opportunity to develop as a driver."
Text By Matt Cotton / Images by FIA Junior World Rally Championship