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(Event release, 12/3/2013)  COATES Hire Rally Australia is set to welcome the country’s top female driver following confirmation young international star Molly Taylor will contest the FIA World Rally Championship event on the Coffs Coast next September.

Taking a break from her European campaign, Taylor, 24, will drive a Ford Fiesta R2 in the WRC3 category for Canberra team Innate Motorsport.

Taylor’s entry will add a major attraction to the 12-15 September event. Organisers also hope it will encourage other Australian drivers to test themselves against the world’s best.

Although not the first Australian woman to enter a WRC round, Sydney-born Taylor has carved an impressive career since moving to Britain in 2009 to chase her dream of becoming a full-time professional at the sport’s highest level.

She was the British Ladies Champion in 2009 and 2010 and, in 2011, one of six young drivers from around the world invited to join the prestigious WRC Academy.

Contracted to Italian sports management company United Business, Taylor contested four European events last year, including two WRC rounds, and is expected to return for an expanded European Rally Championship campaign this season.

Visiting the Rally Australia display at the Top Gear Festival in Sydney last weekend, Taylor said she jumped at the opportunity to join the Ford Innate Motorsport team.

“Competing on my home round of the WRC has always been a goal of mine. It’s like a local race car driver being offered a drive at Bathurst – you don’t say no.

“The team has proven they can prepare two reliable cars and they have the support structures in place to give us a serious chance to win the WRC 3 category.”

The Innate team entry also will include Canberra driver Adrian Coppin, who usually competes in an identical car in the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship.

“The idea has been under discussion since my visit to M-Sport (UK makers of the Ford rally car) last year and when I bought our second car for the ARC, we had the opportunity to make it happen,” Coppin said.

“Molly is very talented and it will be great to learn from her as we prepare for Rally Australia and for her Australian fans and supporters to see her in action.

“We’ll both be trying hard to win the WRC 3 category.”

Coates Hire Rally Australia Event Manager David Catchpole said that although entries were not officially open yet, it was exciting to know Molly Taylor and Adrian Coppin would be competing.

“It is great news for Rally Australia to have secured the first two Australian entries in our round of the WRC,” he said.

“I hope more crews with eligible cars follow this team’s lead and come forward and show the world how strong our sport is.”

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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