This is Molly Taylor. She’s pictured with her mum, Coral Taylor.
They’re your regular Australian mother-and-daughter duo… except that they’re not.
Together, Molly and Coral have dominated motorsports across the world. That’s right – motorsports. One of the most traditionally male-dominated sports that has ever existed.
Years ago, Coral started off in motorsports and managed to record four championship victories and seven in second place, making her the most successful woman in Aussie motorsport history. She won her last Australian Rally Championship in 2008.
And after seeing her mum go through all that excitement, Molly decided to try it too.
Molly is now 26-years-old and the number one ranked female rally driver in the world after winning the FIA European Ladies Rally Championship.
Recently, she competed in the World Rally Championship and manged third place in the junior class in Neste Oil Rally Finland. In the past, she’s also won the Australian Motor Sport Foundation International Rising Star award and been crowned the British ladies Rally Champion.
Usually, Molly lives and races out of Italy. This weekend, however, Molly is back in her homeland and hanging out at the 2014 Coates Hire Rally on the Coffs Coast as a commentator and ambassador for the event. I took the opportunity to have a chat to her about all things relating to motorsport…
So… what exactly is the difference between regular driving and rally driving?
In rally driving, we have what is called ‘stages’. Overall, the rally will run for about 4 days and we’ll cover about 350km of stages, which are parts of roads (usually gravel or track road) and parts of the forest. We race one car at a time and each stage is between 15-30km. They add up each of your times from all the stages and the fastest person wins.
This yearm I’ve been competing in the junior world rally championships, which is a one-night series. All the junior drivers from all over the world compete in six rounds across Europe. Everyone has exactly the same cars so it all comes down to the skills of the driver. At the moment I’m the only Aussie and the only female competing in the series.
The brilliant thing about rally driving is that once you get the helmet on and get in the car, there is no difference between a male and a female in their ability to be able to drive the car. But generally there aren’t many women – there just haven’t been many females involved, but that’s starting to change.
Why do you think it is that so few women are interested in it?
I think from the very ground level, when people start getting into the sport, more males get involved in the sport than females and then they begin to progress through the levels. It’s like a filtering process, as only the best go through. We’re seeing now that more women are doing well and competing at a higher level and it’s getting good publicity, so hopefully now more females will get involved earlier on and we’ll see that move up through the ranks in the chance in the future.