Northern Ireland’s Jon Armstrong and William Creighton have been revealed as Junior World Rally Championship drivers in 2021. They will drive M-Sport Poland’s Ford Fiesta Rally4 cars in the five-round world series.
The latest JWRC season will commence next month on Rally Croatia, an all-new asphalt event to the world championship.
Armstrong returns to the JWRC after a short-lived campaign last year. Coronavirus hindered his planned assault but backing from Codemasters this year means that for the first time since his Drive DMACK season in 2016 Armstrong has a strong chance of completing a full rally campaign.
English co-driver Phil Hall will partner Armstrong in the Codemasters DiRT Rally Team having previous JWRC experience with Tom Williams.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Codemasters for putting their faith in me,” said Armstrong. “I’m honoured to be the driver for the Codemasters DiRT Rally Team.
“Due to lockdown, my partnership with Phil has developed through training using DiRT Rally 2.0.
We can’t wait for the Junior WRC to start, and we will share our experiences with the community through a series of behind the scenes videos.”
Two-time Junior British Rally Championship runner-up, Creighton, makes the step up to the world stage with long-time co-driver Liam Regan. Their season started last weekend on the Czech Republic’s Valašská Rally, finishing second in Rally4, five seconds behind the local class winner.
Creighton and Regan are no strangers to Rally4 (R2) machinery having competed in a front-wheel-drive Fiesta and Peugeot 208 since 2015. The Motorsport Ireland backed crew had aimed to win the Junior BRC last year but it was cancelled after their opening round success on the Cambrian Rally.
“We’ve competed on a WRC event before,” explained Creighton. “On Rally GB we did the full WRC rally for the British Rally Championship, but we had to restart the rally on my first attempt.
“I’ve been on YouTube trying to gather as many videos as I can of the roads in Croatia but watching it on your laptop and experiencing it are two very different things.
“We’ll be doing as much research as we can heading in though. We’re relatively inexperienced when it comes to rallies outside of Ireland and the UK but the only way you can learn is to go and do them.”
Croatia, Portugal, Estonia, Belgium, and Spain make up the 2021 JWRC season; a mix of three asphalt and two gravel rallies.
Armstrong and Creighton will face stiff competition from six other JWRC entrants including last year’s second and third-place finishers Martins Sesks and Sami Pajari.
Photos courtesy of JWRC and ERC