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A wave of young talents from the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy is set to tackle the Donegal International Rally this weekend, with historic entries adding to the excitement.

Sardinia Proves Challenging for Creighton

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver William Creighton faced a tough Rally Italia Sardegna last weekend [30 May – 2 June], yet he showed promising times as he continues his World Rally Championship WRC2 campaign.

Just a week after securing second overall at the Jim Clark Rally in his British Rally Championship program, Creighton and co-driver Liam Regan transitioned from the fast, flowing moorland roads of Scotland to the rocky, technical gravel of Sardinia in their M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2.

Having won the event in 2023 en route to the FIA Junior World Rally Championship title, Creighton was familiar with the challenges. Battling deep sandy ruts, bedrock, and poor road conditions, conservation was key. The 2024 format offered little service opportunity, requiring a careful balance to finish each leg unscathed.

Creighton started strong, going sixth fastest among WRC2 crews in the opening stage. He maintained a rhythm through the first loop, mindful of the four arduous stages before the Fiesta would receive service. By the end of Friday, Creighton was 12th in WRC2 and 10th in the WRC2 Challenger category.

“I was happy with our game plan today and how we stuck to it,” said Creighton. “We showed encouraging pace to start the rally and settled into a nice rhythm while managing the second loop of stages to bring the car back to the overnight service with no major issues.”

Saturday brought tougher conditions with eight tests and no service. Technical issues forced Creighton out on the second stage of the day, leading to retirement. With Sunday’s four-stage sprint remaining, Creighton used the opportunity to gain further understanding of the Rally2 on the unique surface.

Building confidence with each test, he set the third fastest WRC2 time over the penultimate stage, underscoring his progression and securing another important finish in his maiden WRC2 campaign.

“While on paper it’s not the result we wanted, I’m very encouraged by the pace we have shown and the improvements since Portugal,” said Creighton. “A small issue kept us from converting that into a good result, but there are plenty of positives to take from the start of our WRC2 journey. We’ve had strong showings in sections of each event, indicating we are heading in the right direction, thanks to the hard work Liam, the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, and M-Sport have put in.”

Creighton’s calendar has been busy with closely scheduled BRC and WRC rounds. He now has a short break before his next event.

“It’s been a very busy few months providing fantastic seat time in the M-Sport Fiesta, but it’s good to have a few weeks to reset and head to the next rally with a reinvigorated plan,” he continued. “The next WRC2 outing is in Latvia. While high-speed stages are not my strong suit, our JWRC experience on similar rallies will be beneficial. Leading the BRC is great, and with no BRC events until August, we have time to prepare for another strong result.”

“Thank you to everyone who has supported Liam and me so far this year. We’re excited to see what the second half of the season holds.”

You can follow William’s progress on his social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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