Creighton: Contesting British Rally Championship will help my development

William Creighton will take part in the six-round campaign British Rally Championship campaign alongside his World Rally Championship commitments this year (Szabo Attila)

WILLIAM Creighton says adding the British Rally Championship to his programme for 2024 with help from M-Sport and Motorsport Ireland’s Rally Academy will accelerate his development.

Creighton is returning to the mixed surface competition for the first time since 2021 – the year he secured the Junior British Rally crown with Liam Regan – his long-standing co-driving team-mate.

The six-round campaign will be running in parallel to the 26-year-old’s World Rally Championship commitments this year, with his next WRC2 outing coming on April’s Zagreb-based Croatia Rally.

The Moira man is the latest A-list driver to throw their name into the British Rally Championship ring as, within hours of one another last Tuesday, four-time champion Keith Cronin and former European Rally Championship winner Chris Ingram confirmed they are both contesting the series.

Further intrigue comes in the form of rising star Max McRae – nephew of the late World Rally Champion, Colin, and grandson of Jimmy – who is going to share M-Sport’s corner of the service park with Creighton.

“I am very excited to be returning to the British Rally Championship this year – it is looking like a really competitive season and the perfect place to get solid experience of the Fiesta Rally2 in a competition environment,” said Creighton.

“The series is a very special place for me; winning the Junior title in 2021 was the culmination of many years of hard work and it certainly gave me the grounding to be competitive in the Junior World Rally Championship.

“So, to be heading back again – but this time in a top-flight Rally2 car – is fantastic and a real bonus for us.“

“The British Rally Championship offers a great opportunity for us to carry out a programme which complements our WRC2 season as that is clearly our focus this year.

“It is thanks to the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy that we can return to the series, and it will be great to represent them and M-Sport in the UK and see how our hard work in the British Rally Championship will transition into the World Rally Championship,” he added.

The opening round takes place in a fortnight’s time in Lancashire, with around sixty miles of closed roads awaiting crews at the North West Stages.

Win, lose or draw, Creighton is of the view the more time he spends competing the quicker he can complete the transition from Rally3 to Rally2.

“Just looking down the entry list for the opening round, there is a very strong line-up of drivers this season and that’s great to see,” he said.

“Real competition like that will always bring you on as a driver and there is no substitute for competitive events to get quicker behind the wheel.

“The British Rally Championship ticks a lot of boxes for us this year, with recce, good events, and both asphalt and gravel-based rounds, so it made perfect sense to see if we could do it this year.”

Between this month and the end of October, the competition is set to visit Scotland once, England twice and Wales on a total of three occasions.

In a bid to cut costs, Northern Ireland-based events, the Circuit of Ireland and Ulster Rally, missed out on a place in 2024.