Australian driver Molly Taylor enjoyed a fine start to the British Rally Championship campaign with victory amongst the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup runners on the season-opening Bulldog International Rally.
Partnered by Jemma Bellingham in the only all-female crew in the BRC, the 20-year-old came home at the head of the six-strong Suzuki field to claim maximum points on her first outing in the series.
Taylor got the rally off to a good start on SS1, where she was lying in second place, just half a second off Richard Sykes. Not to be beaten, she continued to claw back time from the other crews, setting four fastest times out of only six stages.
“I only arrived in the country three weeks ago and the shakedown stage on Thursday was the first time I'd actually driven the car, so we were in at the deep-end,” she said. “I had no idea about how my pace would match that of the other crews so I was really pleased to be setting some quick times throughout the day.”
The pair went into SS6 with a 37 second lead over closest rival, Luke Pinder and minimised their losses as they took it easy to secure the win by 25 seconds.
“I had an amazing weekend,” Taylor said. “To win the Suzuki's has been a real confidence boost. The car was faultless all weekend, surviving the long and tricky stages. I want to thank MSE, the Australian Motorsport Foundation and MIS for all of their help and support in getting this season off the ground. I'm now looking forward to the Pirelli International Rally, where I'll be pushing again for a win.”
The pair will now head for the next round of the series, the Pirelli International in Carlisle, while also looking for extra funding to complete the remainder of the season.