I first met Molly Taylor many years ago when we both competed in a Victorian round of the Dutton Rally. Even then as a teenager, Molly showed she had huge potential behind the wheel and over the last fifteen years has proven that, by becoming amongst many other honors the Number One International Female Rally Driver in the 2013 World Rally Rankings; in the 2014 Rally Finland she was the first female in Junior WRC to finish on a podium in the third position; and in 2016 she became the first (and to date only) female driver Australian Rally Champion.
Molly was also my guest on the Famous Last Words Podcast in July 2019, when she gave us a great insight into her early years growing up in a petrol-fuelled family in Canberra and then competing at the highest level on the world rally stage.
Over the years Molly’s had to work incredibly hard to get to where she is today, and like many others, late last year I was thrilled when she was chosen to compete in a new electric off-road racing series. The Extreme E series features electric SUVs competing in remote environments around the world to draw attention to the increasing effects of climate change. Their website gives an overview of this very exciting series – www.extreme-e.com
Molly was chosen by ex-Formula One Champion Nico Rosberg to be a part of Rosberg Xtreme Racing and drive alongside teammate Johan Kristoffersson. The female/male driver pairing is a feature of RXR and Extreme E’s drive to promote gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors.
When announcing Molly’s inclusion in the team, Rosberg Xtreme Racing Founder and CEO Nico Rosberg said: “To welcome a driver of Molly’s talent is extremely exciting for RXR. Her experience and success in off-road racing speaks for itself, however Molly’s determination to be proactive in addressing climate change, and support our mission to promote and implement equality are also key factors in Molly joining the team. In Molly and Johan, I believe we have one of the most competitive driver line-ups on the grid both inside and outside of the car, and I can’t wait to see what they can do together with the rest of the team.”
On the announcement, Molly said: “It feels amazing to be joining Rosberg Xtreme Racing and Extreme E on this new adventure. I’m so excited to be able to compete on the international stage again, and to be part of a completely new team and series makes it even more special”.
“Alongside fighting climate change, I’m excited to work together as a team and series to promote equality. One part of motorsport I’ve always admired is that once the helmet goes on, your gender becomes irrelevant, and the stopwatch has no bias. There’s still a lot of work to do to improve the diversity in our industry, but the work RXR and Extreme E are doing will provide new opportunities to reshape the image of our sport in the eyes of young fans, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”
To date there have been 3 races, the Desert X Prix in Alula, Saudi Arabia; The Ocean X Prix in Dakar, Senegal; and recently the Arctic X Prix in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and the Championship standings currently having Molly and Johan leading on 93 points ahead of Cristina Gutierrez and Sebastien Loeb on 84 points.
Greenland certainly proved to be an exciting weekend for Molly as this Facebook video shows:
…and like a true champ, the moment she was back on her wheels, Molly sunk the boot into it and got straight back into racing, that’s why we love her.
Although the Taylor Kristoffersson RXR team didn’t make the finals in Greenland, they managed to maintain their championship lead and the following highlights package gives a great indication of what the Extreme E Series is all about.
The next race, the Island X Prix will be held in late October in Sardinia, Italy with a final round yet to be announced later in the year, and let’s hope Molly and the RXR team can stay ahead to become the inaugural Extreme E Series 2021 Champions.