Australian rally driver Molly Taylor has started making plans for her international driving future, after a successful season with the Italian-based United Business/BP Racing team.
Molly and British co-driver Seb Marshall have done four events with the team, including two rounds of the World Rally Championship. All have been run in a Citroën DS3 R3T.
In last month’s rally, in Wales Rally GB, the young Sydneysider finished third in class, with her team boss – United Business chief, Pier Liberali – declaring her ‘fast and strong’ and indicating he is keen to continue their association.
“We are very pleased with Molly and Seb’s season. We were sure of their potential and we liked the maturity they showed in their gradual growth and improving performance, culminating with two major awards at Wales Rally GB,” Pier says.
“I can say that in 2013 Molly and Seb will certainly be at the start of a prestigious international program to build on the experience gathered this year and I think next year will be a very important season for them. I have reasonable confidence that it will be the season of the true confirmation of Molly Taylor at international level.”
At the end of Rally GB, Molly won the Richard Burns Trophy and Seb Marshall was awarded the Michael Park Trophy, the two prestigious awards in memory of two former rally champions (**see below).
Molly says the rally proved to be an extremely competitive one for her, doing battle against two of the leading French Citroën Trophy drivers. She was pleased to set very competitive times, taking a stage win and finishing many stages within a tenth of a second of her rivals.
“We were really happy with our pace in GB,” Molly says.
“The conditions were changing all the time but I felt a lot more comfortable in the car. It was really valuable to have the strong competition as a benchmark and I’m happy to know we have the speed, just need more time in the car to get the consistency.
“We owe huge thanks to Pier and all the crew at United Business and BP Racing, as well as all the supporters, for making the whole program possible. It’s taken a lot of work but we’ve learned a lot and this will be a good foundation to move forward with for next year. We are working very hard to put a full program together for 2013.”
Molly and Seb signed with the Italian sports management company early this year, contesting four events with them: Geko Ypres Rally (European Rally Championship), Coppa Città di Lucca (International Rally Championship), Neste Rally Finland and Wales Rally GB, the last two being rounds of the World Rally Championship.
The season gave them valuable experience at a level above their WRC Academy development series season last year, and saw them take several special stage victories and lead their class on a number of occasions.
** Richard Burns was the 2001 world rally champion, having finished runner-up in 1999 and 2000. He died of a brain tumour in 2005. Michael Park was a champion co-driver, who was killed in a crash on Wales Rally GB in 2005. The trophies are awarded to the highest placed British-based non-priority driver and co-driver competing on the event.