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Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy’s William Creighton is the new leader of the British Rally Championship after the Jim Clark Rally 


Irish eyes were certainly smiling in Scotland on Saturday evening after Motorsport Ireland Rally licence holders dominated the results of the Jim Clark Rally. 


The famous closed-road rally in the Scottish borders was the third round of the 2024 British Rally Championship. 


For the third time this year, Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy members William Creighton and Liam Regan finished second in a BRC rally and their result in Duns on Saturday propelled them into the lead of the championship ahead of the summer break. 


The rally was won by Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin, in what is a significant boost to their hopes of lifting both the British and Irish titles, in the same year and making it an impressive Irish one-two at the legendary Duns-based rally.



Both crews were supported by the well-known Limerick Motor dealer, the Lyons Motor Group, with dealer principal Keith Lyons on location in Scotland to witness the important event.



Driving their Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy and M-Sport-backed Ford Fiesta Rally2, Creighton and Regan were always in contention over the course of the two-day 14-stage rally. 



Their second overall is enough to launch them firmly into the lead of the championship, the only crew to have claimed a podium on every round so far. 


His consistency is a testament to his hard work in the World Rally Championship and Creighton heads into the summer break with a 15-point advantage.



“It was a tricky weekend, the stages and road surface here is quite unique, in the wet on Friday it was really difficult, but we got through it,” he said after finishing 19.1 seconds behind the winners.

 


“Saturday was nice, it was still tricky with a lot of dirt on the road. We had a good clean rally with very few issues or moments in the car.”


“To be leading the championship, I guess that is our consistency, we have managed that by not focussing on everybody else around us, we still have a lot more we can improve on and that is a positive that we are in a position to do that.”


Cronin ensured his bid for a fifth BRC title is firmly alive, by taking a critical victory on the rally. After a difficult  start to this year's BRC campaign, Cronin, and Galvin took their Pirelli shod Ford Fiesta Rally2 to their first victory of the season and more importantly, edged back into contention for the coveted crown 



“It has been a long time coming,” said Cronin at the finish. “The first two rounds did not go our way, but the championships are long. This result gives us a fighting chance, again. We needed this win.” His co-driver, Galvin acknowledged that their latest rival for championship success may well come from within the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy. 


“Will is putting under pressure all year,” said the Killarney man. “Nearly every rally Will is there, somewhere.” 

In the Junior category, Irish crews took all three podium positions with Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy drivers taking the top two spots.


Kyle McBride, last year’s runner-up, added to his second place on April’s Severn Valley Rally by taking a solid Junior category win. 



He and co-driver Darragh Mullen finished an impressive 14th overall in their  Peugeot 208 Rally4. 


Less than ten seconds separated McBride and his fellow Donegal man Ryan MacHugh after an epic battle between two of the rising stars of Irish rallying. 



“This feels good, it was great to have a good race with the two Donegal men so it’s very good,” said McBride.


“I am really pleased to get finished; everything was working well. The main aim is the Junior BRC fight and we had to play it steady over the last loop to finish nice and clean. It’s a long year and a tough championship.”


MacHugh was more than happy to secure a podium finish on his first event outside of Ireland and with the promise of further trips in the future, second spot is a positive result for him and co-driver Arthur Kierans. 


Arthur Kierans/Darragh Mullen/Mark McGeehan


Kallum Graffin, with Mark McGeehan on the notes in their Peugeot 208, ensured it was an all-Irish podium in the junior category. 


The British Rally Championship now enters a two-month summer break ahead of August’s Grampian Rally.



Text By Sean Moriarty 

Photos by Jakob Ebrey and MI Rally Academy 

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