HomePeopleQA – Molly Spalding

QA – Molly Spalding

For Mt Barker resident Molly Spalding rallying is a way of life

The winner of the Australian Rally Championship Junior Cup in 2022, Molly Spalding was selected as part of a team of about 16 Australians to compete at the Asia Pacific Motorsport Championship this year, where the Australian team placed second.

Molly and her navigator, Matt Dillon, also walked away with two gold and one silver medals, before returning to Adelaide where they hit the gravel during the Adelaide Hills Rally – the last stage of the South Australian Rally Championship.

We caught up with Molly, fresh off a third place finish in the Championship, to find out what rallying means to her and what advice she would give other women who’d like to get involved.

How did you get into rallying?

I started late compared to the usual racing driver.

I started driving at 16 and then found rallying when I began working on my car with friends as a 17-year-old P-plater. I immediately loved it.

I started in grass roots motorsport events at the southern districts car club for which I am now a rally panel advisor.

Initially my family thought I was mad, but they are now very supportive.

I quickly found a rally family and became part of an amazing community.

I fell in love with the sport – all aspects of it – and it snowballed from there.

I moved onto rally sprints, State championships and more recently pushed up to the Australian Rally Championship and international events.

What does it feel like to be behind the wheel during a competition?

There’s nothing quite like it.

The focus, commitment, teamwork and precision add up to an amazingly intense competitive experience.

The feeling of a good rally stage is like magic – it all comes together and becomes so smooth and natural.

Machine, driver and navigator all in sync – it’s fantastic.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your rallying career so far?

Believing in myself and consistently pushing to be better, work harder, drive smarter.

You have to have such a strong internal personal drive to go rallying – there can be a lot of variables working against you at times and you have to build on your own strength to keep working through them.

What is your experience of finding success in a historically male-dominated sport?

I have found a lot of support within the racing community, not only for my successes, but also when I first entered the racing scene.

The racing world is ready and excited to have many more females involved.

Would you like to see more women take on the road and what’s your advice to other women with a passion for rallying?

Absolutely! The best advice I can give is to simply give it a go!

There are people within the sport who are excited to have you there – go to events, talk to people and get out there!

What’s your ultimate rallying goal?

To be a driver for a factory rally team in the World Rally Championship. Aim high, right!

If you could drive on any racetrack/road in the world, what would it be?

One of my highest bucket list items is the Safari Rally in Africa … Or Rally Finland in the snow … Or Rally Monte-Carlo! There are way too many to choose from!

LATEST POSTS

Transcending words through dance

When contemporary dancer Rhianna Dunaiski is artfully expressing herself on stage it’s a feeling like no other. “If you ask any dancer why they love dancing,...

Driven by art generosity and love

David Dridan is one of the SA art world’s living treasures. His distinctive landscape paintings are almost entirely devoid of human influences and his great love...

Everyone loves a hero

There’s glorious gold in the Hills at the moment, the colour of many ash trees now almost gone, punctuated by vibrant crimsons and clarets lining...

QA – Nicole Black | Artist

Nicole is a Kangarilla-based artist who works across multiple mediums, with a continuous focus on the natural environment. Her work was recently selected to feature on...

Other stories

Editor’s note – Winter 2024

Welcome to the winter 2024 edition of the Hills Wanderer!Warm woollen jumpers, coats and gumboots – it's that time of year again!Over the past...

Fashion in the Hills

Photography | Daniele Cazzolato Stylists | Emily Fels & Tiffany Cazzolato Make-up | Tianna Faulkner Talent | Carly White & Nick Kennett If you're looking for the perfect...

Transcending words through dance

When contemporary dancer Rhianna Dunaiski is artfully expressing herself on stage it’s a feeling like no other. “If you ask any dancer why they love...

Driven by art generosity and love

David Dridan is one of the SA art world’s living treasures. His distinctive landscape paintings are almost entirely devoid of human influences and his great...

Winter’s Song

Enchanted by her half-lightand whispers of lingering nights.Here I stand, grounding,my feet upon her soil.Imagination courses throughmy roots, akin to the trees,delving deep, steadying...