08 May Essex rally driver Nabila Tejpar heads ERC Ladies Trophy on debut event
Fresh from a class podium at her home rally in Clacton, Nabila Tejpar once again graced the rostrum as she took the lead of the ERC Ladies Trophy standings at her FIA European Rally Championship debut outing at Rally Islas Canarias last weekend (2-4th May).
Tejpar would fly straight from last Sunday’s Corbeau Seats Rally to Gran Canaria where she would contest her first ever European round and made it a worthwhile effort. Overcoming transmission issues throughout the gruelling event, Tejpar and co-driver Max Freeman took their first ERC finish and, in the process, Tejpar bagged second Lady driver home.
Thanks to the dedicated two and four-wheel drive scoring system for the ERC Ladies Trophy, Tejpar now leads the title hunt by ten points from her nearest rival.
The 25-year-old driver from Maldon, Essex has enjoyed competing across the UK and Europe during the past two seasons, contesting the British Rally Championship and Peugeot Iberica Cup in her Pump Technology backed Peugeot 208 R2.
She has also made a handful of World Rally Championship outings in the past but has never joined the ultra-competitive FIA ERC series which has a worldwide reputation for its tough events, intense competition and manufacturer support. Eager to sample the championship, Tejpar would head straight from Essex to the Gran Canaries to begin her maiden outing in the series.
The two-day blast offered a mix of intricate and narrow winding village roads, with some super-fast open highways around the island, centred around the Las Palmas rally base. Over 200 kilometres of flat out closed-road driving was ahead, spread across 16 stages.
A short shakedown stage offered the chance to acclimatise to the unique characteristics of the roads, but Tejpar was immediately on the back foot, suffering a puncture during her run. The Qualifying stage followed to ascertain road position, but it was here that she would truly discover that her Iberica Cup Peugeot 208 R2 was incorrectly geared for the narrow and winding roads.