Gnoo Blas guests’ life in the fast lane

Four-time Australian rally champions Neal Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor will headline next month’s Gnoo Blas Classic car and bike show and give an insight into one of the most enduring partnerships in Australian motorsport history.

Gnoo Blas Classic car club president Denis Gregory said as an added bonus, Ms Taylor’s 25-year-old daughter Molly Taylor will also be a guest at this year’s event.

“Molly has just been crowned the best female rally driver in Europe after sealing the title with a second place in the 10th round Rally Croatia to win the European Rally Championship ladies’ trophy,” Mr Gregory said.

“That makes her and her mum the two fastest and most successful women on wheels in Australia.”

 Mr Gregory said Molly Taylor was the first woman selected in the Australian Motor Sports Foundation International Rising Star program and was awarded the NSW Confederation of Australian Motorsport young achiever of the year award in 2006.

“In 2011 she was part of the WRC Pirelli star driver program and one of the youngest drivers in the World Rally Championship and she’s now contracted to Italian sports management company United Business who’s in charge of her international career.

“She moved to Italy last year to be closer to her team and she’s set her sights on the 2014 rally championship.”

Mr Bates and Coral Taylor have teamed together on more than 130 Australian rally championship and world rally championship rounds and the Targa Tasmania, which they’ve also won and have had three successive class wins.

“Mr Bates is a natural all-rounder, and he’s raced in the Bathurst 1000 11 times, finishing in the top 10 twice,” Mr Gregory said.

“Coral Taylor has more than 25 years’ experience in the motorsport industry, managing Toyota Australia’s rally program for 18 years and the Neal Bates Motorsport Rally Team.”

Mr Gregory said Coral Taylor is a passionate motoring enthusiast with a strong interest in road safety and she’s on the NRMA board, chairwoman of the NRMA policy and advocacy committee and a member of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator board.

This year’s Gnoo Blas Classic car show will be held at Jack Brabham Park on Saturday, February 8 with a rally on  Sunday, February 9.

A car enthusiasts’ dinner will be held on Saturday, February 8 at the Orange Ex-Services’ Club.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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