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  • Writer's pictureVIVIEN STREBELOW

A short WRC appearance for Molly Taylor in Estonia

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Extreme E driver Molly Taylor made her return to WRC with an M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally3 at Rally Estonia, 10 years after her first WRC appearance - but unfortunately it was a short event for the Australian.

Photo by WRC

Molly Taylor, Extreme E driver for Rosberg X Racing and 2016 Australian Rally Champion, will make her return to WRC, ten years after she competed the first time at the top of World Rally Championship. This season she will attend three rounds - Estonia, Greece and Finland - with M-Sport Poland’s all-new Ecoboost-powered Fiesta Rally3 car, alongside Seb Marshall as co-driver. The all-wheel drive Fiesta Rally3 was the first car in that category to be given the green light for international competition back in March.

Molly is a very popular Australian rally driver: she was the first - and to this day the only - woman to have won the Australian Rally Championship and the youngest ever champion in the series. In 2013, Taylor became the Number One International Female Rally Driver in the World Rally Rankings. Molly wrote history again as she stood on the podium at Rally Finland in Junior WRC: she was the first woman to achieve such a result.

Her first appearance in WRC was dated back to 2011, with a scholarship to the Junior WRC (to this time known as FIA World Rally Championship Academy), already partnering Seb Marshall. Her last entry was in Wales 2014 with a Citroen DS3 R3T. Now, ten years after her first appearance, the duo will be back back in a rally3 car for a three event program backed by the FIA and WRC.

“We’re getting the band back together. I’m really excited to have this opportunity and get back to some of my favourite WRC events in Finland, Estonia, and the Acropolis, which has always been on the bucket list."

But it was a short and bumpy rally for Taylor as the day started early on Friday in Estonia. Molly came into stage 4 and she "ran a little wide on a very fast section and caught a drain pipe hidden in the ditch." They rolled and the car was heavily damaged. Molly and Seb were luckily unharmed, but the crew was forced to retire after the car was deemed unrepairable.

"Gutted to say we are out of Rally Estland. On stage 4 I ran a little wide on a very fast section and caught a drain pipe hidden in the ditch. Doesn’t take much over here to have a big one."

"Certainly not the start to our program we wanted and I’m really sorry to the team and all our partners for this mistake. Seb and I are ok. Thank you for all your messages and support through both the good times and the bad", Taylor reflected on the crash.

Overall winner Kalle Rovanperä made history as all-time youngest WRC championship round winner as the Finn and co-driver Jonne Halttunen stormed to victory in Estonia twenty years after his father had won rally Sweden in 2001. Rovanperä is over two years younger than former record holder Jari-Matti Latvala - when he set the record in 2008. Rovanperä led for most of the time in the four day event and won with a gap of 59,9 seconds ahead of Craig Breen and Thierry Neuville.

Sebastién Ogier finished the event fourth and was third on the Power Stage to keep his championship lead, while Ott Tänak won the Power Stage to earn 5 extra points to his championship tally.

Molly Taylor and Seb Marshall will be back for Rally Greece, from 9th to 12th September.

Photo by WRC

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