Australian Rally champion Molly Taylor is the lastest female driver to be announced to take part in the upcoming all-new electric off road series Extreme E next year.
The 2016 champion will be joining a strong female line-up of many well-known athletes from different motorsport disciplines including former IndyCar Series, ABB FIA Formula E and Supercars racer Simona de Silvestro, Extreme E’s development driver Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, sportscar driver Katherine Legge and rally driver Catie Munnings
The 32-year-old Australian rally driver started in rallying because of her mother Coral, who is a four-time Australian champion as a co-driver and her father Mark who ran a rally school.
Taylor impressed early when she started to compete locally while she was still in school and in 2006 she was awarded the New South Wales Young Achiever of the Year.
In 2009 she entered the International Rising Star Program as she was selected by the Australian Motorsports Foundation, she started to claim titles in the Australian Rally Championship’s F16 class and later 2011 made her debut in the FIA World Rally Championship by the Pirelli’s Star Driver programme.
Since then she has competed in the FIA European Rally Championship and also at home, taking the runner-up spot in the 2015 season before triumphing to claiming her championship title in 2016.
Hoping to put her past experience on the loose surface to good use, she will now take on new challenges as she is joining the Extreme E; “Nothing like this has never been done before,” Molly said.
“It represents a huge challenge and adventure, which really excites me. The broader message of tackling climate change in a proactive way is also incredibly important – our future, and generations to come, depend on us tackling this issue successfully. From what I have seen of the ODYSSEY 21 in action, it also looks like a whole lot of fun to drive!
“It’s going to be a rollercoaster for all of us as well as the fans. The variety of locations and conditions we will experience is going to make it a continual adventure; they’re all bucket list places that I have never been in a position to visit, so that will be special. Getting involved with a series where drivers and teams won’t know what to expect is really exciting. Everyone will be in the same boat and will be learning on the ground.”
“There will no doubt be a very steep learning curve ahead. I think my experience as a rally driver has given me the car control and ability to adapt to changing environments, but the specificity of Extreme E – new surfaces and the race formats – will be elements to learn and work on.
“Driving a SUV will be something new for me, too, as well as a number of the conditions in which we will drive.”
“I’ve competed a lot on gravel, but sand and ice will be a new challenge. The format will also be completely different, especially sharing the co-driver role!”
Recently the Extreme E series announced that all the teams that are entering the Season One next year will have to feature a line-up of 50/50 male and female drivers.
“One thing that has always appealed to me about motorsport is that once the helmet goes on, your gender becomes irrelevant and the stopwatch has no bias. However, I also think that it is important to look at how we can effectively improve the diversity in our industry and this is a step in the right direction. I think this format will provide new opportunities for us to reshape the image of our sport in the eyes of young fans, who will inevitably be our future.” Molly added.
The drivers that have applied for the Extreme E Drivers’ Programme will compete wheel-to-wheel on the same stages with a Odyssey 21 E-SUV that produces 550 horsepowers supplied with all-terrain tyres provided by the Continental Tyres firm.
The series will be visiting five remote regions on the planer on their Season One, Brazil, Greenland and the high coasts of West Africa to name a few.