Australian Rally Championship driver Molly Taylor has been awarded with the Peter Brock Medal during the CAMS 2015 National Awards Gala.
Taylor began rallying at age 17 and won the 1600cc class in the Australian Rally Championship in 2007 and 2008, before moving to the UK in 2009 to chase her dream of a career in world rallying.
"I’m incredibly overwhelmed to have been selected, and I think I read the letter CAMS sent me about ten times before I believed it wasn’t a mistake!
"I remember meeting Peter when I was very young at a rally. He was an idol, a celebrity, I guess that was the most famous person I’d met at that point. I still remember it very well how normal he was, how friendly, how much time he gave to these little girls that thought he was god.
"I think a lot of people ask why do you love motor sport, why do you spend every penny you have on it, why do you sacrifice everything else there and throw your life into something... for people who haven’t experienced driving or that buzz or adrenaline or being involved in the sport in any way, it’s a very difficult thing to sometimes explain to someone without them thinking you’re completely crazy, which they usually do anyway!
"That’s something that I think Peter was good at, to translate that passion and energy he had for the sport and inspire so many people with it.
Taylor has previously competed in the British, European and World Rally Championships. During that time, she was named British Ladies Champion two years in a row, won the inaugural European Rally Championship Ladies Trophy and was officially recognised as the fastest female rally driver in the world.
"So I’m very grateful, thank you very much to everyone who’s helped me and made this possible. Geoff [Morgan] and Tom [Warwick] from the CAMS Foundation, everyone from the CAMS Foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to go overseas initially if it wasn’t for you guys.
"My family is here today, Neal [Bates] has been my mentor - I actually asked Neal for some advice on what to say, and he said well 'I won it two years ago and absolutely nailed the speech, so you probably won’t do better than me!'
"So to be recognised with other drivers of that level and all these multiple champions that I'm following, I guess that I've got to beat your four-time Australian Rally Championship record, Neal! I’ve got some big shoes to fill.
"Thank you to everyone, and Bill [Hayes] my co-driver who surprised me tonight. He probably needs the biggest medal out of anyone for sitting next to me, he’s a brave man. So thank you very much. And everyone involved with the medal. It truly means a lot and I’ll do everything that I can to live up to what it represents."