Like Father, like Son: Niall and William compete in rally

Father and son duo Niall and William Creighton are taking part in this year's Circuit of Ireland Rally.
Father and son duo Niall and William Creighton are taking part in this year's Circuit of Ireland Rally.

Moira teenager William Creighton is following in his father’s footsteps when he will compete at the Circuit of Ireland Rally this Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7-9 April.

William, who is studying hard for A Levels in maths, business studies and physics, will be taking some time off this weekend to compete in his first ever International Circuit in a smart new factory built Peugeot 208 R2.

But William’s biggest fan, his dad Niall won’t actually be watching William, as he’ll be competing at the Circuit alongside his son, albeit in the Circuit’s National event.

Niall has been part of the local rally fraternity for over 30 years and has lost count of the number of times he’s competed in the Circuit.

This year alongside co-driver Gregory Roberts he’ll be part of the ‘historic’ entry driving a rare 1965 mark 1 Lotus Cortina.

Tennager William chalked up top successes in karting and was the UK Junior 1000 champion in 2014 following an emphatic win at Blyton, Lincolnshire, is competing in this season’s Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and has solid performances in recent Galway and West Cork rallies under his belt.

William is competing in the Circuit with 27 year old Belfast based co-driver Liam Regan, a partnership which harks back to William’s junior days and one which William (and his dad) hope will bear fruits.

“Since moving over to rallying in 2013, my first few seasons have been really enjoyable and it was fantastic to be named UK Young Rally Driver of the Year in November 2014.

“Now I’m moving up a gear and it’s fabulous to be part of an event which has star names Craig Breen, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Elfyn Evans.

“I’m very much looking forward to the challenge and to experiencing many of the tremendous stages in counties Antrim and Down.”

The busy sixth former has plans to undertake additional rallies this summer but isn’t taking his eye off the ball in terms of studying.

Fans will have several opportunities to see the rally action from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th April. The Qualifying Stage of the rally will be based at Antrim Castle Gardens on Thursday 7th April, followed by a ceremonial start outside the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum that evening.

Friday 8th April features rural stages close to Larne and Ballymena and includes a refuel halt at the famous Ballymena Showgrounds. Friday’s route includes stages encompassing Torr Head and Glendun as well as a passage control at the Dark Hedges and a regroup at Bushmills Distillery.

A special Ards TT Stage will take place in Newtownards town centre on Friday evening 8th April. Competitive rallying on the Saturday will include stages close to Banbridge, Ballynahinch and Dromore with town centre regroups in Downpatrick and Banbridge.

The rally will finish back in Belfast on the evening of Saturday April 9th and will culminate in a special closing ceremony outside Queen’s University when the 2016 winners will be presented with the famous historic Circuit of Ireland trophy.