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PHOTO: Molly Taylor checks out her new Citroen DS3 R3T for Portugal.

AUSTRALIAN daughter-and-mother team Molly and Coral Taylor will compete together in an FIA World Rally Championship event for the first time when the Junior WRC series kicks off at Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Thursday.

Molly, 25, ranked the world’s number one female rally driver, and her mother, a four-time Australian Rally Champion co-driver, recently announced they would contest the six-round Junior WRC, marking the first time they have undertaken a full championship season together.

The pair was due to have the first run in their new Citroën DS3 R3T on Monday, European time, across a five-kilometre stage about 50km from Faro, the southernmost city in Portugal and capital of the Algarve region where the event is based. Faro is about three hours’ south of the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

The car is being run by D-Max Racing, a company based near Varese in northern Italy which manages motorsport programs across Europe for customers driving Citroën rally cars.

Molly has signed with the team to compete in the JWRC after winning the inaugural Ladies Trophy in last year’s European Rally Championship, in the same model Citroën.

The Taylors are planning to cover about 60km in total on the Monday test session, in company with other JWRC teams.

“This will be the first time I have driven with the Michelin tyres so we want to find a good set-up with these and also try a few different compounds,” Molly said.

“Of course, the other priority is getting a good feeling in the car with the ‘old girl’ (her mother).”

After the test, the pair will head to the Algarve forests for two days’ reconnaissance of the stages before final shakedown on Wednesday and the official start and super special stage in Lisbon on Thursday.

The JWRC competitors do the full three days of the event, which comprises16 stages and total distance of 1394.30km.

Although this is the first time the Taylors have joined up for a WRC event, they competed together on two rounds of the 2010 Citroën Racing Trophy category of the British Rally Championship and also for the Pirelli Star Driver Shootout in Spain that year.

The Star Driver Shootout saw Molly win one of six 2011 scholarships to the WRC Academy, a one-make junior development series. Portugal was one of the events Molly contested that year.

After Portugal, the Taylors’ 2014 program covers Lotos Rally Poland (June 26-29), Neste Oil Rally Finland (July 31-August 3), ADAC Rallye Deutschland (August 22-24), Rallye de France-Alsace (October 3-5) and Wales Rally GB (November 14-16).

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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