Taylor continues Dakar prep with podium in Saudi

Monday 13 December, 2021
Molly Taylor picked up second place in the Hail International Rally.

Off Road 

Molly Taylor has enjoyed solid preparation ahead of her Dakar Rally debut early next year with a podium finish during the Hail International Rally in Saudi Arabia. 
With Taylor and co-driver Dale Moscatt locked in to take on one of the world’s biggest off road events in January, the duo showed they were capable of a good result thanks to hugely impressive run over the weekend. 
Behind the wheel of the South Racing Can-Am Buggy, Taylor got off to a brilliant start, initially securing second place on the opening stage, before eventually being elevated to P1 after timing rectifications. 
Unfortunately she wasn’t able to replicate her efforts on day two as a tricky run saw her drop down to third place, but she bounced back on the penultimate day with another solid stint that saw her move back up to second place and in the hunt for the lead. 

However because of the 33-year-old pushing hard on the final day, she ended up with driveshaft issues and a tyre puncture, which ultimately ending her charge of victory. 
Despite the setback, the 2016 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Champion was able to hold onto second place in just her second ever cross-country event since embarking on her off road journey. 
"A little too aggressive today and I paid the price with a driveshaft and a puncture," Taylor wrote on social media after the final race. 
"Another lesson learnt! In any case, we were still able to hold onto P2. A result I’m very happy & proud of in only our second cross-country event. 
"This week has given me a lot of experience in a different terrain and confidence in our pace. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m even more excited for Dakar now. 
"Huge thanks to Dale & the team for a fantastic week." 
Taylor will now head to the United Kingdom for the FIA Extreme E Series season finale where she and her Rosberg X Racing teammate Johan Kristofferson will look to seal the inaugural title. 
The Jurassic X Prix takes place at Bovington in South England on 18-19 December. 

Formula 2 

The 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship has concluded with champion Oscar Piastri capping off the year with a victory in the final feature race. 
Earlier in the weekend, the 20-year-old had won the title after securing an unassailable lead in the Championship’s third last race of the season with a podium. 
With the championship sealed, Piastri had a free reign for the remaining two races and although he retired in the second sprint race of the weekend, he went back to winning ways in the feature, converting his pole position to win number five. 
While the weekend was all about Piastri and his historic championship title, another Australian in Jack Doohan turned heads with another mature weekend in the second tier of Formula 1. 

Having picked up an impressive P5 in Jeddah last weekend, Doohan backed up his maiden round performance with a second place in qualifying on Friday night. 

The result meant that the Queenslander started the feature race alongside Piastri and saw an Australian one-two front row for the first time ever in junior Formula categories. 
The opening reverse grid sprint race saw Doohan start in P9 and a tough start saw him drop down the order before eventually crossing the finish line in 11th place. 
Doohan managed to finish the second race in the points with P8, however that’s as good as it got for the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship runner-up as he retired from the feature race as a result of losing control upon entering the track after a pit stop. 

Despite the disappointing end, Doohan still impressed during his two-round stint with MP Motorsport and the teenager will be looking to continue his momentum during this weekend’s official 2022 F2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit. 
Joining Doohan for testing will be West Australian Calan Williams, who will link up with Trident Motorsport for the three-day program. 
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