DESPITE the fact she is the first female driver to win a heat of the Australian Rally Championship, or maybe in spite of it, Molly Taylor says the whole ‘female in a male dominated sport’ thing is something she doesn’t spend any time considering, and she just wants to get on with the job at hand – winning rallies.
“It’s incredibly important to me to earn respect for the job you are doing, regardless of whether you are male or female,” Taylor said.
In a sport largely dominated by male drivers, she considers herself just one of the guys, and believes once the helmet and gloves are on the sex, age, religion or status of the driver becomes completely irrelevant.
“Being a girl doesn’t change anything for me. I’d still be approaching my rallying exactly the same way if I was racing another girl, as I do racing against all the guys. We all want to win, we don’t really care that much who is in the car ahead or behind us,” she said.
Having claimed her debut heat win on the opening day of the recent Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia, Taylor backed it up with third in heat two, to finish second outright for the event.
“I was saying coming into WA that the car had already proven itself and now it was up to me to prove myself. I had no excuses, I needed to do my bit and thankfully we were able to do that with a podium finish and a Heat win.”
On roads that have caught out even the most seasoned campaigner, including both Eli and Simon Evans on the very first forest stage of the weekend, Taylor said she was nervous about tackling the ball-bearing gravel tracks after so many years away competing in Europe.
“I think I was most apprehensive about my lack of experience at the event. There are drivers who have done that event five, six, seven years in a row, while for me it was my first time back at the event for six years,” she said.
“My experiences competing in Europe, of visiting very different events for the first time, helped so much. We wrote a really good set of pace notes in WA, and having that confidence in my notes was one of the keys to success.”
Molly said she was still learning all the time as a driver, no matter where she competed, and each new event meant stepping out of your comfort zone, and being mentally tough enough to take on the challenges each even presented.
“So much of this sport is about what’s going on inside your head rather than just driving fast, and for me driving overseas that’s a really important lesson I learnt. With all the trials and tribulations of rallying, and having the ability to stay calm, that’s so important.”