2 years ago

RallySport Magazine August 2016

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The August 2016 issue of RallySport Magazine is now available, and includes: Latest news: * Dowel backs rallycross to be bigger than V8 Supercars * Quinn’s Rally Australia WRC car bid falls short * New WRX STi could be Rally America bound * Up to 10 AP4 cars for 2017 NZRC * Skoda R5 for Mark Pedder at Rally Australia Feature stories: * Famous stages - New Zealand’s Motu * A close look at the Skoda Fabia AP4+ * Group B Mitsubishi Starion 4WD remembered * Budget rallying - Hyundai Excel * Where are they now - Wayne Bell * Hayden Paddon column * Vale: Steve Ashton Interviews: * Molly Taylor - Subaru factory driver * David Holder - NZ Rally Champion * Col Trinder - Chairman of ARCom * Emma Gilmour - NZ’s fastest lady Event reports: * Rally of Finland * APRC - China Rally * Catalans Coast Rally * NZ’s Northern Rallysprint Series * Walky 100 Rally, SARC


INTERVIEW: MOLLY TAYLOR SO FAR, SO GOOD Story : PETER WHITTEN Subaru driver, Molly Taylor, has hit the ground running this year, impressing all with three faultless drives in the new Subaru do Motorsport WRX STI. With a three-month break between ARC rounds, Molly headed to Europe to catch up with her partner, Hyundai driver Kevin Abbring, and to watch his progress in Rally Finland. Despite the distance, Peter Whitten asked our fastest female her thoughts on the season so far. RSM: Three events into the ARC this year, how have you seen your own development as a driver in the Group N Subaru? Molly Taylor: This is my first season in an AWD car and my first season as a factory driver, so there is certainly a lot which I am learning in a short space of time. I am really relishing every moment of this opportunity, and as a driver I am now in a different position than I have been before, which definitely requires some adaptation. The team have made a strategic decision to stay with a production car this year, meaning your car is heavier and less powerful than 26 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016 many of your rivals. Has this made the start of the season more challenging? I think rallying is challenging for Molly and the Group N Subaru in action in Rally of Queensland. (Photo: Pete Johnson) everyone, but for sure running in a different specification adds a unique challenge for us. However, I think so far we have had a great start in our season and as well as a challenge, it’s also really satisfying to be able to prove what we can achieve in a production car. It’s great motivation for the whole team and really shows how well everyone is working together, and how strong the NR4 STI is. You have performed faultlessly this year, not putting a mark on the car. How satisfying is that, given it’s your first drive in a factory car? Thank you! This is a huge opportunity for me, so of course it’s very important to start on the right foot and prove that I deserve the job. It’s a new situation and a new type of pressure, but this is what I have been working towards for the last 10 years, so it’s a fantastic feeling to be taking it on. I’m very aware it’s a long road and PHOTO: Geoff Ridder

in many cases, the hard work is just starting, but I have never wanted anything else more than this. What is the team doing to further develop the car for the remaining two events this year? From the first time the car turned a wheel, it has been a great package and that’s a real testament to the guys at Les Walkden Rallying. We have developed the car to as far as the Group N regulations allow, so the main focus for the next events is tweaking the set-up to suit each rally, and for me to make sure I’m getting the most out of the car with my driving. South Australia will be the fastest round of the championship so far. Will that suit the Subaru more than the first three rounds? South Australia is typically a horsepower rally, as most of the ARC events are really, so I think we need to be on our game just the same as every rally. My preparation will certainly be no different. Looking forward to Rally Australia, where the world will be watching, how important is a good result in the WRC round - both from Subaru’s perspective, and from your own? For me, every rally is just as important as the other in terms of my preparation and performance. Although for sure, to have a great result on the WRC stage would be fantastic, and there are still so many Subaru fans in the WRC, so I think everyone would like to see that! I’ll put in 100%, as in every rally, so from my side I won’t be changing anything. You’ve been labelled one of the hardest workers of anyone in rallying, with measured preparation before each event. Does this just relate to physical preparation, or do you work specifically on the mental side of things as well? I think a lot comes down to how badly you want something. I want to arrive at a rally knowing that I have done everything I can to be as prepared as possible. Given that time in the car is always at a premium, most of these aspects fall outside of the car. So definitely a combination of physical preparation, mental, working on pacenotes, anything and everything! I’m always learning. With a three-month gap between Queensland and South Australia, what have you been up to? Following Queensland we had Bryan quite Bouffier a busy schedule with the launch of the new Subaru Levorg and SubiNats. It’s great to be involved with a really proactive company such as Subaru, so even when there is not a rally on, there is always something new and exciting happening. I have also had the chance to head to Europe for a few weeks and am Marijan Griebel currently writing this from Rally Finland. As soon as I get back to Australia it will be full steam ahead preparing for South Australia. A mid-season trip to Europe saw Molly enjoying a day on Lake Annecy in France (below), and sharing a motorbike ride with Hyundai WRC star, Kevin Abbring. Photos courtesy of Molly Taylor Alexey Lukyanuk AUGUST 2016 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 27

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