However, he promises the fight for JWRC is not over yet!
Willian Creighton has vowed not to give up the fight to become Junior World Rally Champion despite a massive setback on the opening day of the Acropolis Rally Greece.
The iconic event, with a rich history spanning decades, promised to test the mettle of the young, aspiring drivers like never before.
The rally is renowned for its gruelling stages, unforgiving terrain, and scorching summer temperatures, which when combined have a reputation for pushing both man and machine to their limits.
Drivers must demonstrate not only their speed but also their endurance and adaptability. The rally's rough gravel stages combined with unpredictable weather conditions, ensure that competitors must be prepared for anything. The rocky and abrasive roads can be particularly punishing on tyres adding an extra layer of complexity to the event.
Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy member Creighton and his co-driver Liam Regan are one of several crews that can take the title this weekend.
With double points on offer and and bonus points for each stage win, the title fight remains wide open.
However, Creighton was dealt a cruel blow on the opening leg’s second stage.
A damaged radiator, most likely caused by the gravel-strewn roads, meant he was forced to retire for the day.
Creighton and Regan pushed their car three kilometres from the end of the stage to the tyre fitting zone where they had hoped that repairs could be made – but they were out of luck.
His M-Sport mechanics have the car repaired and he will re-start tomorrow in eighth position in the class battle.
There are nine stages left to run over the course of Saturday and Sunday meaning there are at least nine bonus points on offer.
Diego Domínguez and Rogelio Peñate lead the class overnight, with Creighton’s main rivals Laurent Pellier and Kévin Bronner in second place.
Whatever happens over Saturday’s six stages, Creighton needs his luck to change.
“Huge thanks to the team for getting us back in the game,” he said "It's not over yet.”
Ireland’s Eamon Kelly and Conor Mohan are fourth and such are the variable points scoring options in this rally event they have an outside chance of lifting the title.
Text by Sean Moriarty // Pics by WRC and Msport