Australian rally driver Molly Taylor is set for the first all-tarmac round of the 2011 World Rally Championship, the ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

The 23-year-old Sydneysider and her colleagues in the WRC Academy junior development series will tackle two of the three days of the event (August 19-21), which is based in the historic city of Trier in Germany’s wine-producing Mosel region.

This first tarmac event on the calendar features different types of asphalt surfaces and long stages, so it promises to be challenging, but Molly and British co-driver Seb Marshall are feeling quietly confident.

“There’s a bit of a mixture of anticipation and excitement heading into Germany,” Molly says.

“It’s the first tarmac event for the Academy so I think the dynamics of the Championship will change for sure and it will be interesting to see what happens.

“For me, the aim is to focus on my job and drive my own rally. Coming from Australia, most of my rallying has been done on gravel, so I am still learning the tarmac but we have done some really good testing and I feel a lot more confident on the surface.

“Now the challenge is transferring the pace I achieved on the test onto the rally. I want to use every stage in Germany to get one more step forward. It will be good experience for me and to be developing in such a strong field will be a great opportunity.”

Experienced campaigners suggest this is an event which demands an extremely high level of concentration, particularly in the Baumholder military training area, where giant boulders, known as hinkelsteins, line the route.

There are very fast sections and tight, twisty sections, with both narrow and wide asphalt roads of differing surface types, and gravel, mud and dust also part of the mix. For success, a driver has to be capable on every surface.

One of the highlights of the event is the ‘Circus Maximus’ super-special demonstration stage, which runs through the centre of Germany’s oldest city.

The event kicks off with a ceremonial start at Trier’s Porta Nigra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at 8pm local time on Thursday, August 18 (4am, Friday, Sydney time).
Molly will be doing regular video blogs in the lead-up to next weekend. You can check them out on the video page of her website:
The WRC Academy is a one-make, development series aimed at bringing the best young rally talent in the world to elite levels. They are tackling six rounds of the WRC, with Germany being round four.
All the Academy competitors drive identical Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by Ford’s WRC specialists, M-Sport, with tyres provided by Pirelli. Molly is one of six of the drivers on a fully funded scholarship for the year, covering all her WRC expenses.

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