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Tejpar tames a tough Ulster Rally

Nabila took her first British Championship points of the season in Ulster
Image credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography - Click to download high res version -

Maldon rally driver Nabila Tejpar secured her first Junior Prestone MSA British Rally Championship points of the season last weekend as she took fifth place in inclement weather at the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally (17/18 August).

Driving her Melvyn Evans Motorsport run Peugeot 208 R2, Tejpar and co-driver Richard Bliss overcame treacherous conditions in Northern Ireland to land their first BRC finish of 2018, bagging valuable Junior points in the process.

The reigning BRC Ladies champion has committed to a season in mainland Europe, contesting the ultra-competitive single-make Peugeot Rally Cup Iberica in Spain and Portugal but also intended to return to the domestic series when the calendar allows.

Her season there has been fruitful, but her previous outing in the BRC this year ended in an agonising non-finish at the Ypres Rally. Tejpar was eager to ensure the Antrim based event would offer a change of fortune and over 100 miles of competitive action lay ahead.

Conditions in the area on Friday proved to be difficult as rain on the stages created standing water in many places but with windy conditions on some of the higher stages drying out sections of the roads, tyre choice would remain a lottery.

Tejpar had the added benefit of contesting many of the stages previously as part of the 2016 Circuit of Ireland Rally in which she secured European Rally Championship Ladies and fourth BRC Junior. The 25-year-old was looking forward to tackling the difficult Northern Irish roads with a little more power behind her thanks to the Peugeot 208 powerplant. 

The opening day took in classic stages such as Torr Head and Tejpar began to settle into the conditions, electing to ensure she could reach the end of the leg rather than push for a significant result during the day.

Despite a small excursion into the scenery which resulted in getting beached on a bank, her pace would improve across all of Friday’s five stages, even though a handful of those took place in fading light, one of Tejpar’s least favourite conditions.

Saturday dawned clearer and the challenge for the Peugeot pilot would undoubtedly be to bring it across the finish ramp in Antrim later that afternoon. A further six stages lay in wait but a mature and ever-improving drive throughout the day saw Tejpar take her first BRC finish this season and fifth Junior home.

“It been a difficult rally but I`m really pleased to have taken some BRC Junior points away from the weekend,” said Tejpar.

“I'm happy with my performance as well and its good to see that I`m still progressing in the right direction with my speed. I do have a few confidence wobbles every now and again but in general, I can see a marked improvement from say last time I was on these stages in 2016. Driving in the dark was difficult for me, but I didn’t back off as much as I thought so that’s also a positive as its something I know I need to work on. Overall it has been a big confidence boost for me and its great to be back in the BRC again, but the seat time will ultimately help me when I return to the Iberica Cup”.

Tejpar will now turn her attention to Spain and the Rally Princesa de Asturias, next round of the Peugeot Rally Cup Iberica in just under a month’s time.

Tejpar is sponsored by Pump Technology, Matrix Construction, NUA Motors, Advanced Chiropractic, Allied Polymer, Lumi and Environmental Biotech
Posted by Matt Cotton on 23 August 2018 09:56

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