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Australian rally driver, Molly Taylor, made an impressive debut on the Bulldog International Rally of Wales this weekend.

The 20-year old, partnered by UK co-driver, Jemma Bellingham, drove the Monster Sport Europe and MIS Motorsport-backed Suzuki Swift Sport to the finish, winning the first round of the 2009 Suzuki Swift Sport Cup.




The only all female crew in the British Rally Championship beat off stiff competition from five other Suzuki crews, to pick up maximum points.

Taylor got the rally off to a good start on SS1 Dyfnant, where she was lying in second place, just half a second behind Richard Sykes. Not to be beaten, she continued to claw back time from the other crews, setting four fastest times out of only six stages.

"I only arrived in the country three weeks ago and the shakedown stage on Thursday was the first time I’d actually driven the car, so we were in at the deep-end," Taylor said. "I had no idea about how my pace would match that of the other crews, so I was really pleased to be setting some quick times throughout the day."

The girls went into SS6, Big Ray, with a 37 second lead over their closest rival, Luke Pinder, focused on doing enough to keep the gap, but without taking any risks which would cost them the event.

Dropping 11 seconds to Pinder in the stage meant that Taylor and Bellingham completed the rally with a 25 second advantage.

"I had an amazing weekend; to win the Suzuki class has been a real confidence boost," Taylor added.  

"The car was faultless all weekend, surviving the long and tricky stages. I want to thank MSE, the Australian Motorsport Foundation and MIS for all of their help and support in getting this season off the ground. I’m now looking forward to the Pirelli International Rally, where I’ll be pushing again for a win."

Taylor, who is backed by the Australian Motorsport Foundation, recently won their International Rising Star Award for 2009 and is the first female driver to be given the title.

Taylor and Bellingham are currently seeking sponsorship to support the winning team, to ensure they can complete all six rounds of the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup, in their battle for the title.

"With the current financial climate, it’s been quite difficult finding sponsors to help us, so we’d love to talk to anyone who’d like to get involved," Taylor said.  "We’re the only all-female crew in the British Rally Championship and we’ve proved what we can do this weekend."

The girls will contest the second round of the British Rally Championship, the Pirelli International Rally on April 17 and 18.

See more photos of Molly in action at MOLLY TAYLOR'S website

Photos: www.cmwi.net

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