Molly Taylor – the first Australian female driver to take on the Dakar Rally

I’ve featured a couple of articles on Australian rally driver Molly Taylor in the Famous Last Words blogs and also had a chat with her in the July 2019 Molly Taylor Podcast.  

Molly is an amazing young lady and it’s no surprises she’s been incredibly successful in the cutthroat world of dirt rallying. She has many first to her name; in 2015 she became the first woman driver to win a heat in the Australian Rally Championship; in 2016 she was the first woman driver to win the Australian Rally Championship with Bill Hayes as her co driver and the youngest person to achieve that feat; in 2020 she joined the inaugural Extreme E International electric rally series and with teammate Johan Kristffersson became the series’ first champions; and then earlier this year became the first Australian woman driver in the infamous Dakar Rally.

For this year’s Dakar Rally, Molly teamed up with long-time friend and top Australian co-driver Dale Moscat to compete in the SSV class driving a Can Am Maverick X3 Side x Side for the Can-Am Factory South Squad. It was a baptism of fire for the two Australian first timers competing in what is regarded as the toughest motorsport event in the world.

Over two weeks, competitors raced an 8,404 km loop around Saudi Arabia to finish at the coastal city of Jeddah, and having maintained a position in the top ten of their class during the majority of the rally, unfortunately 40km’s into the final stage, a brake failure caused a fire in the car (which they were able to extinguish with their camel back supply of water) and they limped home with no brakes to a very creditable 14th in class.

To give an insight into the preparation needed prior to the Dakar Rally and what happens during the race, Can-Am have produced a series of videos which feature in their ‘Off-Road Livin’ series and here are the first three episodes:

Episode 1 – ‘Prepin for the Unknown’

Episode 2 – ‘Shaking up Shakedown! 72 Hours’

Episode 3 – ‘Start line Approaching’

It’s great to see Molly and Dale flying the Australian flag in the Dakar Rally, and I’d be very surprised if they don’t front up again in 2023.

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