Its always great to see, when the Girls compete against the Boys in Motorsport. The WRC is a mostly male dominated sport. That said, Females in Rallying have also proven to be very successful. The most well known, being Michelle Mouton. But others have also enjoyed some top results and great success.
One of them this weekend on Wales Rally GB, was the 2013 European Ladies Champion, Molly Taylor. The run in the final round of the world championship was a reward from her manager, Pier Liberali, of the Italian-based sports management company, United Business, for her achievement in the European Rally Championships.
It was tough work out on the stages, as Wales Rally GB played host to the final round of the World Rally Championships. The event is well known for its challenging conditions, and is tough for even the best drivers in the world, many of them not making it to the finish. Despite this, the Australian rally driver took to the stages, and over the 4 day event, finished the rally 4th in the two wheel drive class. And an impressive 23rd in the overall classification. She also won the prestigious and highly coveted Richard Burns Trophy.
She’s quoted on her website saying, “We’re really happy with what we achieved over the weekend, “ Taylor says. “It was a really tough event but we managed to keep going and posted some fast stage times in between the various issues we had, so we are taking away a lot of positives from the experience. “It was a great way to finish what has been a very challenging but ultimately very rewarding year, and I’m really grateful to Seb [co-driver Seb Marshall], Pier [Liberali] and the whole BP Racing team for having the chance to do it.”
Taylor had a tough start to the weekend. According to her website, there was frustration after the car she hired to do the reconnaissance of the stages to write the pace notes for the event, didn’t perform and needed some ‘bush mechanics’ to get it going. Then encountered further problems, saying, “We didn’t get a chance to do a pre-event test so it was a tricky start to the rally as we had a new car set-up that we weren’t used to for the wet conditions in GB. We only had a few runs at shakedown to find the set-up for the rally,” says Taylor, who ran the same Citroën DS3 R3T in United Business livery that she has driven throughout this year’s European Rally Championship series.
Talking on her website about the rally, she said, “We had some turbo issues on the three stages on Thursday night which were fixed at service, and then we had a lot of fun on the Friday morning. The stages were awesome and we were very happy with our times. “Friday afternoon was a bit more challenging because we had a problem with the throttle sensor. We couldn’t get full throttle on the fast sections and then the throttle was sticking on the low speed sections. The car had a mind of its own and it was scary on the steep downhill sections when the throttle kept sticking on.”
One of the last stages of the day on Saturday, was a section she and Marshall had missed during ‘recce’ with their car problems. They came into a corner too fast and rolled the car. But in fantastic fashion, as soon as the cars wheels touched back down, the power was on, and only lost a few seconds, despite the roll. “I tried to wash off as much speed as possible but clipped the inside of the corner and tipped the car on its roof,” Taylor says. “Luckily we did a complete roll and landed back on the wheels and we were able to keep going. We actually didn’t lose that much time”.
The final day was more of a struggle as the conditions and the surface was more slippery than they ha predicted, And wasn’t happy with their tyre choice, but made it to the end of the rally, wen others didn’t, and brought the car back home, 4th in her class “It wasn’t ideal but we were still happy with the day, and the whole weekend, really. Our goal was to be in the top five in our class, given the calibre of the field, and we achieved that. There were some really good stage times, a good result, and some really fantastic trophies to take home [co-driver Seb Marshall won the prestigious Michael Park Trophy*] so we are very happy!”
Below is the on-board video of Molly Taylors ‘Roll Recovery’ On Rally GB. Her lucky escape where she only lost a few seconds despite rolling the DS3 R3