SUBARU do Motorsport driver Molly Taylor has become the first female driver winner of the Australian Rally Championship in her WRX STI NR4.
In what was the tightest title tussle in 25 years, Taylor- regarded by many as the world's finest female rally driver of her generation - secured the All-Wheel Drive Group N production class title at the three-day Kennards Hire Rally Australia across 23 stages at Coffs Harbour, NSW.
The 28-year-old won the title by just two points after rival Mark Pedder was given a post-race one-minute time penalty.
Pedder's crime was checking in early to the start of the rally's penultimate stage, and Taylor, co-driver Bill Hayes and the Subaru team only learned of their success as they awaited their turn to drive on to the podium at the ceremonial finish.
"I can confirm today that dreams really do come true," said Taylor post-race. "Talk about taking it down to the wire! We knew we had to give it everything on those last two stages after a really consistent run all weekendand we pushed so hard."
"And then to get the news that there was a possible penalty for Mark, it was like being on a rollercoaster."
Subaru Australia Managing Director, Colin Christie, said: "We're ecstatic with this result on so many levels.
"It's wonderful for Molly to not only win the drivers championship, but also become the first female to do so and we're honoured to have such a fantastic role model to inspire young people."
Fellow Subaru driver Simon Evans came second in the championship just two points behind Taylor, while Toyota's Harry Bates was a further six behind after five rounds of the rally series.
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