Molly Taylor completes Rally Finland and her 2021 WRC campaign
Updated: Oct 11
After two troubled rounds, Australian rally star Molly Taylor finished her first rally in her 2021 WRC campaign in an overall 20th place, tackling the tough stages of the Finnish forest with her M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally3 and together with co-driver Seb Marshall.
Molly Taylor made history as she stood on the podium at Rally Finland in Junior WRC: she was the first woman to achieve such a result. And now the Australian rally star is back on the same path, with the Finnish woods again as a backdrop to her achievements.
Seven years later, Taylor and her co-driver Seb Marshall entered once again the Rally Finland for their three-rally campaign with M-Sport Poland’s all-new Ecoboost-powered Fiesta Rally3 car. And it was finally a good one for the 33-year old driver, as she had unfortunate finishes to her previous two rallies.
"Rally Finland, 7 years ago. So many amazing memories of this place & it’s where I had my best WRC result - finishing on the Junior WRC podium." - she wrote prior to the event. "Really looking forward to getting back to this special place."
Finland continues to be a good place for Molly Taylor: she started well into the first day, finishing in P29 after Friday's six stages.
"Can’t tell you how happy I am to get a solid day in the books here in Finland!"
"Unreal to be back in this amazing place after so long. Work to do, but today was an important step."
Saturday saw nine further stages, and Taylor finished in the Top30 in six of them. As a result, she was able to end the day in P22 - which meant she was well placed between the Rally2 cars after day two out of three of the Finnish event.
"Another day enjoying these amazing roads and building from yesterday." - she commented. "Currently 22nd outright, we are the only Rally3 car so no class to fight for but sitting in a nice sandwich of Rally2 cars so we will take that. Some MEGA stages tomorrow, so bring on Sunday!"
On Sunday, Taylor was able to set the pace again and finished inside the Top30 in every stage.
"Feels good to have a great weekend of rallying after what feels like a long time coming." - Molly said. "Of course, being in Finland makes it extra special. We managed to bring the Rally3 car home in 20th overall and had a lot of fun along the way!"
"So many people to thank - thank you to the M-Sport Poland crew for a faultless car all weekend."
Molly Taylor thus finished her first rally in 2021 with an impressing 20th place overall - ahead of half the Rally2 field. Surely a great result for the all-wheel drive Fiesta Rally3, which was the first car in that category to be given the green light for international competition back in March.
And after two troubled rounds hampered by many technical issues and a big accident, Taylor scored the best result of her campaign this year, where she finished higher than seven years ago with a podium in the Junior WRC. Finnish soil and the Australian driver make up for a special combination and - who knows - maybe we will see Molly Taylor back in WRC soon.
"Thank you to all our partners for this incredible opportunity to be back in the WRC." - she added. "Thank you Seb Marshall for jumping back in and picking up straight from where we left off 7 years ago. And thank you to all of you for having our backs always. Let’s see what adventure is next…"
Overall, Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin took victory ahead of Ott Tänak and Craig Breen. Evans was fifth after day one, but put all his efforts into the remaining stages to come out first on the last day of the rally, with a gap of 14,1 seconds - adding one more win in the Wolf Power Stage to his championship title hopes thanks to a full amount of points.
For his team - which is based close to Jyväskylä - it was the fourth victory in a row their return to the WRC paddock in 2017.
WRC will return with RallyRACC Rally de España from 14th to 17th October, with the championship fight still on: Ogier leads with 190 points ahead of Evans (166) and Neuville (130).
Molly Taylor will return behind the wheel in the Odyssey21 electric SUV of Rosberg X Racing for the Extreme E Island XPrix, from 23rd to 24th October to push for the championship title with her teammate Johann Kristoffersson.
With two victories out of the three contested rounds, she currently leads the standings.