In her NEC Australian Rally Championship debut last weekend, eighteen-year-old Molly Taylor and 2005 championship-winning co-driver Dale Moscatt drove their diminutive Mitsubishi Mirage RS to an impressive 9th outright, and earned maximum points towards the F16 Cup Championship.

Molly conquered the rough-and-tumble roads in the challenging Coates Rally Queensland, where many experienced drivers slid off the road - and the leaderboard. She credits her team and the car’s setup with their successful result.

“My plan going into the event was to get to the finish and learn as much as I could about pace notes, the car and the event itself, so to finish with a good result was just icing on the cake!” said Molly.

“We did have a few moments, but the team did an amazing job and we were always able to drive a straight car out of service.”

It was not only the mechanical parts of the cars that needed special care. Warm conditions, the harsh rocky surfaces, and the F16 Cup restriction of a maximum 12 tyres meant tyre strategy was going to be critical.

“Being such a hot and tough event, tyre wear was a major issue for most crews,” said Molly.
Running on relatively low profile tyres we were initially concerned about possible punctures. As it was our first event with Silverstones, we were monitoring tyre grip and wear rates very carefully during the Queensland event, and found the Silverstone tyres worked extremely well,” Molly said.
She said there were no issues with the tyres throughout the event. “We used S3 compounds that allowed us to use our maximum 12 tyres with an impressive balance of grip and wear rates, so our strategy worked perfectly.”

Molly’s tyre sponsors, Silverstone Tyres, were so impressed with Molly’s debut performance that a full quota of rally tyres will be sent from the manufacturing plant in Malaysia directly to Western Australia for the Quit Forest Rally on April 28-29.

"We were delighted with Molly's outstanding performance last weekend,” said Alan Stean of Silverstone Tyres.

"We have decided to send special tyres directly to Perth for her, in preparation for the NEC ARC Round Two in Western Australia.”

This will give the team the best possible start to the tricky and loose Perth surface, where the dirt is scattered with marble-like clay pieces, which have the foreboding nickname of ‘ball bearings’.

“I am really excited to have Silverstone’s increased support going into the Forest Rally,” finished Molly. “I expect it will give me added confidence in the tricky loose surfaces typical of W.A."

Photo: Neil Blackbourn

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