Molly Taylor celebrates on the podium during the Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour.
Molly Taylor celebrates on the podium during the Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour. JEREMY ROGERS

Subaru driver leaves men in her dust

MOTORSPORT: These days Molly Taylor is more concerned with horsepower.

But there was a time when the first female to win an Australian Rally Championship preferred to be in the saddle of an actual horse.

The 28-year-old, who clinched the history-making title in the final race of the year in Coffs Harbour on Sunday, was born to drive - mum Coral was a four-time Australian rally champion co-driver and dad Mark a former national competitor.

But she recently said: "It was only when I got my licence at 17 and dad made me go to rally school he was running that I fell in love with it ... so I sold the horse to buy a rally car.”

There's been no looking in the rear-view mirror as she quickly conquered the British Ladies Rally Championship in 2009 and 2010 and the European Rally Ladies Championship in 2013.

As a full-time driver for Subaru, the Sydneysider now has overtaken the men on home soil.

"It is certainly the best motorsport moment I have had for sure,” Taylor said.

"I certainly didn't expect to finish up where we did ... (but) in saying that the whole year has been completely unpredictable so we never wrote anything off.

"It has always been the dream and to have this opportunity with Subaru and do it professionally. To be able to do this in our first year with them is beyond what I thought was possible.”

Taylor and veteran co-driver Bill Hayes secured the title after a post-rally penalty was given to initial race winners Mark Pedder and Dale Moscatt for checking in early at the final stage. Pedder and Moscatt decided not lodge a protest.

"Her attention to detail is something I have never seen before ever with any of the drivers I have worked with,” Hayes said.