18 Sep Nail-biting rally finish for Maldon rally driver Tejpar in Asturias
Nabila Tejpar came close to retiring from Rally Princesa de Asturias within sight of the finish last weekend (14th/15th September), as clutch failure blighted her PT Racing Peugeot 208 R2 on the final stage of the rally.
The Maldon based rally driver had worked hard to overcome a damage inducing puncture on the opening leg of the Spanish event but was faced with an ailing car over the closing stages of the rally.
With the help of rally fans and good fortune, Tejpar was able to creep over the finish line in La Manjoya to maintain her one hundred per cent finishing record in the hotly contested single make championship, finishing tenth overall in the Cup.
With regular co-driver Richard Bliss unavailable, co-driver Max Freeman stepped into the passenger seat for the tough north coast event which offered over 109km of special stage action spread across 12 stages. The newly formed duo would need to adapt quickly as there was little time for a pre-event test ahead of the fourth round of the series.
Fresh from a fifth place in the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Junior category in Ulster, Tejpar would head back out to mainland Europe with the goal of continuing to gain additional seat time and experience of overseas events whilst looking to improve on her season-best tenth place on Rallye de Ferrol earlier in the year.
The 25-year-old Essex pilot was in a confident mood after crossing the ceremonial start in La Manjoya to a packed crowd, before four stages opened proceedings on Friday afternoon and into dusk. Despite a good start, disaster struck on the second test when Tejpar took bigger cut in the road than was required and clipped a rock part way through the 15km stage.