North Shore Sporting Car Club Member, Molly Taylor, has been exceptionally busy over the past few months, and with a range of different international events on her calendar. For Taylor, the second half of 2021 is packed with excitement.
Taylor last competed in Australia at the Accent Benchtops Rally of Queensland in an Orange Motorsport Subaru WRX STi. With Malcom Read in the co-drivers seat, Taylor was placed third in Heat One, overcoming issues with the rear suspension. A damaged radiator in the second heat on Sunday would see the team making urgent repairs to the car after completing the first three stages, but despite their best efforts, they were forced to retire.
It was straight to the airport following the Rally of Queensland, with Taylor heading to Senegal in West Africa. Senegal, made famous in rally circles because of its capital city, Dakar, hosted round 2 of the Extreme E Racing Series.
After a brilliant drive with Johan Kristoffersson at the first round of the Extreme E Racing, Taylor and the Rosberg X Racing (RXR) team went into the Ocean X Prix round leading the series. The RXR team were competitive from the outset, securing a place in the final and ultimately winning the event. They now lead the series with 71 points, 14 points in front of Cristina Gutiérrez and Sébastien Loeb from X44 Racing.
Taylor was thrilled with another win, saying: “It feels so good to take our second win of the season in Senegal. The semi-finals were wild because of the course here on the beach and the close racing, but we really enjoyed it, and it got us even more pumped for the last race. The Final was my first time racing wheel-to-wheel at the start of a race and getting the inside line heading into Turn 1 was really important. From there I just had to bring the car home for Johan to jump in and do what he does best for the second lap.”
“The win didn’t come easy”, Taylor continued. “And it’s been a great reminder of how competitive this series is, but that makes this victory even more special. We’ll savour the moment and look forward to the next race in Greenland.”
The next event for Taylor was the WRC Rally Estonia, driving for the M-Sport Poland team in an all new four-wheel-drive M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally3. In the leadup to the event, Taylor said she was happy to be getting the band back together, referring to re-joining with co-driver Seb Marshall for three WRC events.
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity and get back to some of my favourite WRC events in Finland, Estonia, and the Acropolis, which has always been on the bucket list. We’ve been working towards this programme for a while, so it seems like it’s been in the distance for so long. You don’t want to get too excited, because you’re always trying to put programmes together, and it’s often that nothing happens. Then it all started to come together, and it looked like it was finally happening.”
“Now it’s coming around really soon, so it’s pretty surreal. It’s exciting to be a part of the beginning of the [Rally3] category and I think, from everything that I see, it looks like a really good package, so I’m really excited to give it a go”, she continued.
“When this opportunity with the new Rally3 car came up, I think it was a combination of all the little things that just fell into the right place, and so when the opportunity arose, it was possible to jump at it. I always wanted to get back into the WRC. I feel like it’s been many years of trying to get to an opportunity like this – that I was trying for back in 2012 – but I’ll take it now!”, Taylor concluded.
But things didn’t go according to plan in Estonia, and a crash on stage 4 would see Taylor and Marshall retire with a badly damaged M-Sport Fiesta.