William Creighton admits it is “an exciting and privileged opportunity” to get the chance to drive a Rally2 car on a round of next season’s World Rally Championship.
Creighton secured the lucrative prize – which is being backed by Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Racing arm – after winning the Junior British Rally Championship on last weekend’s Ulster Rally.
Having strung together three successive victories going into his home round in Newry, the pressure was largely off Creighton as he only needed a handful of points to be assured of the title.
However, he still had to keep his focus as a no-score would have gifted overall glory the to fellow Irishman and Ford Fiesta Rally4 driver, Eamonn Kelly.
Before the start of the current campaign, the 24-year-old Motorsport Ireland Academy-backed driver from Moira had been a runner-up in the series to Callum Devine and Josh McErlean in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
“It’s a truly fantastic feeling to finally become a Junior British Champion,” said Creighton, who dovetailed his JBRC commitments with five appearances in the Junior World Rally Championsship with team-mate Liam Regan this year.
“I didn’t even want to think about the World Rally Championship prize before the Ulster to be honest but now reality has set in, it really is such an exciting and privileged opportunity.
“We have worked so extremely hard this season and it’s a testament to the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy that I’m in this fantastic position.
“The title means everything to me and I could not have done it without the support of my family and sponsors. I really can’t wait to see what 2022 holds for us but, for now, I’m just going to savour this moment.”
Creighton’s step up to a Rally2 car will come on a European round of the World Rally Championship, with the snow-covered stages of Sweden, the fast-flowing forest tracks of Finland and the circuit-like roads of Rally Spain three potential options.
Creighton isn’t a stranger to driving a four-wheel-drive car, though. He finished second overall at the Tyrone Stages in 2018 at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 R5 and third overall at the same rally 12 months later driving a Ford Fiesta R5.