Australian rally driver Molly Taylor has finished fifth in the World Rally Championship Academy round in France, her best result for the year.

In an incredibly difficult event that tested even the leading WRC drivers, the young Sydneysider and British co-driver Seb Marshall set their sights on a strong finish in Rallye de France and achieved it.

“I’m really happy because I needed to get a good clean result and fifth is more than I expected, but the reality is all about where our performance is and where it needs to be,” Molly says.

“Obviously it is great to get a result and some points in what was a really tough event with a lot of attrition. We were focussed on staying on the road and not making any mistakes and we achieved that.

“This rally certainly highlighted how far we have come, but also how much further we have to go, so while we are obviously very pleased with the result – especially for Pirelli, and the Australian Motor Sport Foundation and everyone who has supported us – it’s not as if we can just sit back and relax. We need to keep pushing to make improvements wherever we can.”

To that end, Molly and Seb will tackle Rally of Scotland this weekend (October 7-9), a three-day gravel contest that is the penultimate round of the highly contested 11-event Intercontinental Rally Challenge series. Academy rivals Craig Breen and Alastair Fisher are also on the entry list.

“It will be good to get back out on the gravel. The last round in Wales (Wales Rally GB, November 10-13) is all gravel, so the aim for this weekend is to get out there and put everything we’ve learned so far into practice with the ultimate goal of a strong result in Wales to finish off the year.”

The Scottish round boasts some of the fastest and most spectacular roads on the IRC calendar, winding their way through the picturesque Perthshire and Stirlingshire countryside in the centre of Scotland. The event gets underway with two short stages on Friday night (October 7) after a ceremonial start at Stirling Castle. It finishes on Sunday at Scone Palace, on the outskirts of Perth, where the kings of Scotland were crowned in centuries past.

After last weekend’s run in France, Molly grabbed a handy 10 points in the championship tally for the WRC Academy, 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 Wales Rally GB the last of the six.

All the Academy competitors drive identical Ford Fiesta R2s prepared by Ford’s WRC specialists, M-Sport, with tyres supplied by Pirelli. Molly is one of six drivers in the Pirelli Star Driver programme, which provides a fully funded scholarship for the year, covering all her WRC expenses.


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