Essex rally driver Nabila Tejpar will make her return to the World Rally Championship this week

Essex rally driver Nabila Tejpar will make her return to the World Rally Championship this week as she resumes her Peugeot Rally Cup Iberica campaign at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (31st May – 2nd June).

Tejpar, will not only contest the Iberica Cup section of the event, but she will also take her Peugeot 208 R2 into the full WRC event to gain more experience of longer and tougher events in the calendar. Whilst her focus lays firmly on the single-make championship result, a good result in the world series will undoubtedly boost her confidence for the remaining events on the calendar this season.

Nabila Tejpar

The 25-year-old from Maldon has enjoyed an uplift of fortunes during her assault on a variety of championships this season, despite suffering a less than ideal start to 2019. Ending the British Rally Championship opener in a ditch, Tejpar secured a solid finish in Portugal the very next week in the Iberica Cup.

Finishing the BRC qualifier at West Cork in the Junior BRC points and the subsequent Iberica round, she would then take the best result of the season at her home rally in Clacton with a class podium.

Eyeing new events, Tejpar made her FIA European Rally Championship debut on the asphalt roads of Rally Islas Canarias and came away from the event in the lead of the ERC Ladies Trophy. Now, along with co-driver Max Freeman, she will make the switch back to gravel and the pinnacle of the sport, the World Championship in Portugal.

The reigning British Ladies Champion is in a confident mood.

“It’s probably the first time this season that I`ve really felt at home when contesting an event,” says Tejpar.

“That may sound silly having rallied a few miles from home in Essex last month, but this will be my second attempt at Rally Portugal and Rally Fafe in February used many of the roads that the WRC event used so I have some good experience of the stages. I’m feeling very ready for this week”.

After the ceremonial start on Thursday night in Coimbra, over 300km of special stages lie ahead for crews with Saturday packing over half the competitive distance into a single day. The event is rounded off with the spectacular Fafe test and the iconic jump which Tejpar was able to sample as spectator last year.

“The crowds in Portugal are insane and flying over the Fafe jump to close the rally is a great way to finish the weekend. However, just getting that far will be a huge achievement as the stages become very tough over the second pass thanks to the ruts in the road. But I know what to expect and I’m really up for the challenge. Getting through unscathed will be an important milestone for the future and gaining experience for the progress of my career.”

Source: Essex Magazine