Australian rally champion Molly Taylor will be in Busselton to defend her title at this year’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
In 2016, Taylor became the first female and youngest winner of the Australian Rally Championship, making her mark in history.
The Subaru driver said the Forest Rally was unique from other rallies in Australia and was one of her favourite events on the calendar.
“The surface is quite slippery and quite challenging and the roads are really nice from a driving perspective, as a driver it is really enjoyable,” she said.
“Also the location, being based in Busselton it is such a beautiful spot, the rally is really well run and the community gets behind it and it has a really nice vibe."
Taylor is not stranger to rally driving, her mother Coral was a four-time Australian Rally Champion co-driver, and her father ran a rally school where she initially tried driving a rally car after she got her learner’s licence for the road.
“Both my parents competed, it was a big influence going to watch the rallies, but I never thought I would do it myself,” she said.
“My dad got my sister and myself to go out and have a drive of the rally cars, to drive something off-road where I could learn to confidently drive a manual and from a driver safety point of view.
“I absolutely loved it.”
Growing up with her mum competing at a professional level helped Taylor forge her way into the sport and never considered being a female in motor sport as a barrier.
“The bigger thing I found was if you absolutely loved the sport and you are there for the right reasons then you get treated on how you respond to others in the environment,” she said.
“From my perspective we are all competitors and there is that level of respect amongst all the competitors irrelevant of gender, people really want more women in the sport, there is a lot of encouragement.”
In her early days of competing, Taylor started doing grass roots competitions and worked her way up to be able to drive in the rally championships.
Taylor said she exceeded her expectations last year by winning the championship and the goal for her team was to maintain the title.
“For each event we have our own tasks, our first step is to keep a consistent competitive pace – get points in the championship - and really get that rolling,” she said.
“We have to take it stage-by-stage and keep an eye on what we are doing day-to-day with a view of putting it all together at the end.”