Dakar delivers tough lesson for Aussies

Molly Taylor has ended an epic Dakar Rally race on a high, finishing 12th in class.

The 2016 Motorsport Australia Rally Champion had a mixed event, with a number of challenging days and incidents to overcome but she powered through to cross the finish line in a total time of 59 hours, 38 minutes and 36 seconds in her South Racing Can-Am prepared machine.

Finishing 47th outright, it was an impressive effort from Taylor and American co-driver Andrew Short.

“We made it to the finish of Dakar 2023 – it’s been a pretty wild two weeks, a lot of lows but also a lot of highs,” Taylor said.

“Massive thanks to Andrew, I’ve really learnt so much.”

Short was also full of praise for Taylor’s efforts.

“I’m stoked to be here at the finish with her and it’s been a good time,” Short said.

“It’s completely different for me but a big opportunity and more fun than I expected.”

Meanwhile, in the battle on two-wheels, Australian motorsport star Toby Price narrowly missed out of the outright bike win finishing second behind Argentinian Kevin Benavides.

Price led the bikes heading into the final day, but a series of missed waypoints, which Price admitted he missed by the smallest of margins forcing him to double back, saw him lose the event by 43 seconds. A tiny margin considering the more than 44 hours of race time completed across the event.

“Yeah, hard to take at the moment, but at the end of the day I’m going home in one piece, and we got a Dakar trophy,” Price said at the finish line.

Fellow Aussie Daniel Sanders finished in the top 10, claiming seventh.

Two Australians were also in action in the Classic Dakar competition, with Peter Schey and Christopher Schey finishing 28th overall in their Nissan Terrano after 13 stages.

The Classic component of the race is a regularity based event for pre-1990 machines.

The longest route since 2014, the race spanned across 15 days and over 5,000 kilometres spread over 14 timed stages. Competitors tackled desert, dunes, and hostile weather conditions as they traversed the Saudi Arabian landscape.