Australia will have its first ever woman compete in the world’s biggest off road event next year with Molly Taylor confirmed to compete in January’s Dakar Rally.
Running the 44th edition of the famous race for international outfit South Racing, the event will cap off a brilliant 12 months of off road racing for Taylor, who has made a name for herself in Australian rally.
Taylor has been busy contesting the inaugural Extreme E Series alongside Swedish driver Johan Kristofferson for former Formula 1 driver Niko Rosberg this year and the duo are currently leading the standings after four rounds.
With only December’s’ Jurassic X Prix in the United Kingdom remaining, Taylor has one hand on the trophy and could make history next month should she and Kristofferson win the title.
She will then meet up with South Racing in Abu Dhabi before switching the electric trophy truck for the Can-Am Maverick X3, which she will run in the iconic off road event at the start of the New Year.
It won’t be the first time she runs in the Can-Am either, with Taylor having competed in the Baja Aragon in July and a five-day long session during the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge earlier this month – both times with South Racing.
Ahead of her dream debut at Dakar, Taylor was proud of her transition into off road racing over the past 12 months.
“I am very excited for it because it’s a dream come true for me and it’s one of those things that I have always wanted to do for my whole life,” Taylor said.
“A few years ago, I would have never really considered doing off road racing, and just like the rest of my career, it’s a pathway that has happened through different opportunities leading into other opportunities.
“I guess Extreme E has been the catalyst for my off road career and my spot at Dakar because ever since I started that, I wanted to do more and then an opportunity presented itself with Scott Abraham and South Racing.
“The team has a massive setup and they gave me the chance to do Baja. We stayed in communication after that and the relationship sort of grew which helped pave the way for the Abu Dhabi drive and now Dakar.
“I had an incredible experience in Abu Dhabi. I have never seen dunes like that before and I had so much fun. It was a similar course to Dakar, which was helpful.
“Of course I know Dakar won’t be all sunshine and rainbows but I am really looking forward to it and I am sure it’s going to be an amazing experience.”
Although she is just at the beginning of her career, Taylor hasn’t ruled out a potential future move into the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australian Off Road Championship.
“It’s been an incredibly busy period for me which has been good – especially with last year’s lockdown where we couldn’t do anything. I want to keep going and do as much as I can as I am always trying to build momentum,” Taylor explained
“I haven’t locked anything away in 2022, but if I can do both off road and rally events in 2022, I will be happy.
“I don’t really have plans to do the AORC any time soon, but I have mapped out my calendar for next year and I have pencilled in the Tatts Finke Desert Race.
“If the opportunity comes to race in Finke or the AORC, I will definitely take it, but at this point, I am just focused on what I have locked in.
“I have really enjoyed my time in off road so far but rally is my first love and I am not going to stop rallying – hopefully I can do both and have a full calendar next year.”