William Creighton and Liam Regan sealed their first-ever Junior British Rally Championship after a controlled drive to finish second on a difficult and demanding Ulster Rally.
Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mohan were the Northern Irish pair’s sole remaining challengers ahead of the Ulster. They had to win BRC’s final round to stand a chance of securing the title while Creighton and Regan only had to finish the rally to win the championship.
In the end, Kelly’s Rally4 Ulster Rally victory wasn’t enough to wrestle the championship from Creighton’s grasp as the latter tailed him all day in Junior BRC.
“For me, the BRC was always an opportunity to get seat-time for the world championship,” explained champion Creighton. “But at the same time I have been in this position a couple of times and we really wanted to come and win it.
“We had most of the hard work done before today but still we had to finish the rally. It was a typical Ulster Rally, it was never easy.
“Thanks to DGM, Liam did a great job on the notes, and the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy who have been behind me all year. I’m just glad to have been able to keep it together today and do what we planned.”
For Kelly, who finishes as runner-up to Creighton in the Junior British Championship, the Ulster Rally was his second win in BRC this year and is a promising sign for his future.
“We did all that we could today,” admitted Kelly. “I am happy with how I drove, especially in such tricky conditions. It wasn’t as simple as just going flat out, you really had to think about how to drive through each stage.
“That’s something that I have always tried to work on, I stayed calm and got the result which is something that I am proud of.
“If you would have said to me at the start of the year that I would finish the season with two wins and nearly winning the championship, I wouldn’t have believed you. So, I have to be happy about it.
“Obviously, you always want to be at the top but there is time for that next year.”
Ulster Rally’s RC4 podium was completed by Jody McManus and Des Sherlock. The Northern Ireland Rally Championship pair were happy with their performance in an outdated Ford Fiesta R2 as McManus relished the opportunity to compare his speed against BRC’s best.
Johnnie Mulholland and Joseph Kelly completed the top five.
Photos by Adam Hall