William Creighton, 2021 Motorsport UK Junior British Rally Champion will contest next month’s WRC Rally RACC Catalunya – Rally de España [20-23 October] behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 N Rally2.
Creighton, 24 from Moira in Northern Ireland secured last year’s Junior BRC title in a scintillating battle which went down to the wire at the final round in Ulster and will now tackle the blisteringly fast asphalt rally, redeeming his prize for winning the title in 2021.
A collaboration between the British Rally Championship and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing will see Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan join the PCRS Rallysport squad in Spain as they make their Rally2 debut on the world’s stage. They will jump into the British Rally Championship-backed machine after contesting the Junior World Rally Championship in a Rally3 this season, finishing fifth in the title race.
Creighton has had the benefit of contesting the event before, tackling the 2021 edition as part of a JWRC campaign, but this will mark his maiden outing on the ultra-fast hillside stages in a four-wheel-drive.
Nineteen stages and over 293 kilometres of special stages are in store over the four days, and he will go head-to-head with some of the fastest WRC2 drivers in the world, showcasing his talent alongside top-drawer WRC regulars.
As well as being backed by Motorsport UK and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, Creighton will also be supported by Pirelli UK and Reis Motorsport Insurance.
2021 Junior British Rally Champion William Creighton said:
“This prize really means a lot to me. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we started to compete in the Junior BRC back in 2017 when we just missed out on the championship to Callum Devine. Now to think not that many years later, with two Junior WRC seasons under our belt we have this amazing opportunity to compete in the second highest level of the sport with Hyundai, it’s pretty crazy really.”
“The British Championship has taught me so much within my career when I look back. Competing on both surfaces whilst making your own notes and using FIA Homologated cars has really prepared me for the future, especially when you are up against some really quick drivers from across Europe.”
“I don’t think this has quite sunk in yet. It’s a fantastic opportunity to drive a Hyundai i20 Rally2 with the PCRS Rallysport team who will be fielding other Irish drivers so I think we will feel right at home.”
“Whilst I’ve only done a few small rallies in R5 machinery, I think that my experience in the JWRC at Rally3 level should mean the transition isn’t too much of a leap.”
“I’ve always felt comfortable on asphalt and Spain is such an amazing rally to contest. Hopefully, we can get into a good rhythm, work on our pace as the rally progresses and more importantly enjoy it. These opportunities don’t come up too often and may never do again. Thank you to everyone that has supported me along the way and of course the BRC and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for the prize.”
Hyundai Motorsport Deputy Team Director Julien Moncet said:
“Supporting young talented drivers and crews to progress their motorsport careers is an important part of our role as a team. Whether that is through our Customer Racing Junior Driver program, or simply through working with teams competing in our range of Customer Racing-built cars.
“William Creighton’s entry in Rally RACC Catalunya – Rally de España is another part of this as we continue our partnership with the British Rally Championship to reward the best young talent in the series. In his performances in the BRC and JWRC he has shown he has great ability as a driver, and though the step up to the i20 N Rally2 will be new to him I believe we can look forward to a strong event.”
Motorsport UK British Rally Championship Manager Reece Tarren said:
“The British Rally Championship is delighted to see William and Liam finally take up their prize in a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 after a busy season for them in the Junior WRC series. They fought exceptionally hard last year in the British Championship and were very deserved victors, so to see them progress onto the top level of our sport in a Rally2 makes us very proud indeed.
“The BRC has always been eager to assist in developing talented drivers and see them progress in our sport. It’s no secret that it is never an easy transition, so we must thank Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, Pirelli, PCRS Rallysport and Reis Motorsport Insurance for their support in allowing William to have the opportunity to shine on the world’s stage.”
Previous winners of the WRC prize drive include 2019 Junior champion Josh McErlean who began his relationship with the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing team thanks to his opportunity at Wales Rally GB later that season. He has gone on to become a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver and is contesting the WRC2 Junior category of the World Rally Championship.
With graduates of the British Rally Championship including WRC top-flight drivers Elfyn Evans and Craig Breen, the highly regarded series has long been a platform for young drivers who are eager to make an impact. As a collaboration between the BRC and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, the prize drive continues to reinforce the Junior championship’s standing in helping young, aspiring drivers to progress.
2022 Junior BRC champions Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mohan will be offered their opportunity in 2023.