Features Irish Rallying National Rally Championship

NI co-driver in MSUK academy to learn from rallying’s best

Scarva’s Ben Teggart has been calling pacenotes throughout Ireland for the past eight years. This year has the potential to top them all as the 24-year-old has been selected for Motorsport UK’s Co-Driver Programme.

The development programme identifies, develops and supports talented co-drivers who have the potential to reach elite level in rallying. Motorsport UK’s statement of intent is backed up with the involvement of co-driving experts Nicky Grist and Paul Spooner. The programme provides one-to-one performance management and coaching, workshops, expert industry insight and co-driver specific education.

“I saw a post on Motorsport UK’s Facebook page about the academy,” explained Teggart. “I thought, ‘Why not give it a go.’

“Then I got an email at the start of the year to say I was picked as one of the eight for the academy. It’s all about building your co-driver skills but also improving your fitness and nutrition”

Teggart already has his first weekend in the academy under his belt as he travelled to Silverstone in February to get his year up and running.

“The first session went really well. There was a lot of information in two days but it was good to meet all the guys on the team. It wasn’t an easy first session, it was straight in with the hard work.

“The support provided is really good, as everyone knows Nicky and Paul are the two best co-drivers in the sport, so they have done it all. They are trying to get us up to their level on a short time base.

“But the bottom line is, if you are willing to work hard the further you will go, there’s only so much a man can help.”

Teggart will return to his familiar co-driving seat in Jason Tuthill’s Ford Escort Mk1 this weekend for the Mayo Stages Rally. Mayo marks the first round of the National Rally Championship in which Teggart and Tuthill finished as Class 13 runner-up last year.

“I started the Northern Irish Championship a few weeks ago with Jamie Grant, we finished the first round third in class and 14th overall. We’ll continue the year with that and other rounds he has picked out.

“Other than Mayo this weekend nothing else is really planned but my phone is always turned on for any driver needing someone.”

Like many aspiring young drivers and co-drivers Teggart’s ambition is fixed on making it to the top level of rallying.

“I will keep the head down, learn as much as I can from Nicky and Paul over the year and really put a lot of hard work in and hopefully it will get me out into the big world of rallying!

“So for now it’s head down and learn from the best.”

Photo by David Harrigan

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