10 May Essex rally driver Tejpar bids for Peugeot Cup experience at WRC Portugal
British rally driver Nabila Tejpar will make one of many trips to mainland Europe this week as she embarks on a season in the Iberican Peugeot Sport Cup, beginning with round six of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Vodafone Rally de Portugal (17th – 20th May).
After sealing the Prestone MSA British Ladies Rally Championship title in 2017, the Maldon rally ace has secured a deal to head to the ultra-competitive series after making the upgrade to the latest specification Peugeot 208 R2 at the beginning of the season. Richard Bliss from Weston-Super-Mare will return to the co-driver’s seat once again in 2018.
The opening round of the single-make championship offers one of the toughest events on the World Rally Championship calendar and the best drivers in the world will tackle the dusty and rocky mountain roads of the Porto region in Portugal. Iberican Cup contenders will compete across the first nine stages of the event which amounts to over 150km of competitive action.
At just 24, Tejpar has only been rallying competitively for just over two years and has only recently managed to complete her very first WRC event in October when she tackled the British round of the series, Wales Rally GB. Portugal will throw up a very different challenge as she will need to concentrate on not only getting round the infamous stages, but to rack up valuable points in the Iberican Peugeot Sport Cup to boot.
Just three months ago, Tejpar was due to embark on her third season in the British Championship and when the opening round was cancelled due to the “Beast from the East”, the Essex star thought she would need to wait until April to resume her defence of the Ladies title.