Taylor confirmed for 2022 Dakar Rally debut

Molly Taylor (centre) with Nico Rosberg and Extreme E team-mate Johan Kristoffersson. Picture: Sam Bloxham

Australian Rally Championship winner Molly Taylor has announced she’ll contest next year’s Dakar Rally.

Taylor will become the first female from Australia to contest the iconic event, to be held in Saudi Arabia, on four wheels.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 33-year-old has had a busy 2021 contesting the inaugural Extreme E series with Rosberg X Racing.

Taylor has also contested select FIA World Rally Championship events including Rally Finland with M-Sport.

“To be honest, it’s just a dream come true,” said Taylor of her forthcoming Dakar debut, which will come with the South Racing Can-Am Factory Team.

“I’ve been watching the Dakar since I can remember. Every January we sit down and watch the two weeks of the amazing Dakar adventure.

“To be able to actually have the chance to drive myself, it’s something you say, ‘One day I’m going to do Dakar’ and for it to be so close to happening is very exciting.”

Taylor will head to the United Kingdom for the final round of Extreme E, which she currently leads, on December 18-19 before ramping up preparations for the Dakar Rally.

The Prologue begins on January 1 with the start and first stage a day later before concluding on January 14.

Taylor said she’s eager to return to the Northern Hemisphere to close out the year.

“The Extreme E series has been fantastic this year and it’s just such an incredible, new, innovative championship to go to these remote locations in these almost two-tonne electric SUVs and be racing and also really addressing climate change and being able to make an impact on that side as well – and to work with Nico Rosberg and all the drivers and Johan Kristoffersson, my team-mate, three-time World Rallycross champion, so it’s been an incredible year,” said Taylor.

“It’s been a rollercoaster and I’ve literally been living out of a suitcase for the last six months moving from place to place. It’s been an adventure, that’s for sure. But tonight I’m planning to go home and get into my bed for the first time in six months. That’s going to be nice as well.”

Taylor won’t be the only Australian contesting the Dakar Rally in 2022.

KTM rider Toby Price will return next year as will Daniel Sanders who will ride for GasGas.

Andrew Houlihan will ride a new KTM 450 Rally in the crown jewel off-road event.

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