Australian Rally Championship winner MOLLY TAYLOR has joined the Stan Sport team for the 2022 SpeedSeries season. She will provide expert analysis on the race coverage and this is her first column for Wide World of Sports.
When stars from Supercars want to come and compete in the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series, then it’s time to take notice.
Brodie Kostecki’s admission to the series obviously came at the well documented expense of Shane van Gisbergen, but even the champion’s interest in the series speaks volumes.
It’s a real testament to the series that Trans Am is their first choice outside of their regular racing program.
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Turtle Wax Trans Am regularly attracts grids nearing 30 cars. (DANIEL KALISZ)
If Brodie and Shane don’t want to turn up and drive, they don’t have to. But here, they have the opportunity to choose to drive a car that they will enjoy driving and have good, hard racing.
If you’ve watched Trans Am, it’s no real surprise that these guys want to be on the grid. If you’ve not watched Trans Am, here’s why you should.
They’re awesome cars, the fields are massive, and you’ve got really high quality drivers.
The five-litre V8 sound is one that most Australians can resonate with and the cars themselves – the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger – are iconic.
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Lap after lap, it’s on the limit. There’s heaps of power, a lot of flex in the tyres, so the cars move around when they are on the edge. When that’s going on side-by-side, it’s a helluva show.
If you asked me which car I would want to test tomorrow out of everything the SpeedSeries has on offer, I’d go with the Trans Am, hands down.
Every category is fun and impressive in their own way, but muscle cars are just that bit raw.
The SpeedSeries commentary line including Matt Naulty (from left), Chris Stubbs, Molly Taylor, Matt White, Richard Crail, and Michael Caruso (Daniel Kalisz)
The cars moving around, that’s a bit like rallying. You never have that perfect level of grip and you’re just dealing with what you’ve got. It’s seat-of-the-pants stuff, and looks unbelievably fun as a driver.
I don’t see anyone out there that’s not having a great time. That fun factor and the close racing that ensues is undoubtedly one of the reasons why guys like Brodie and Shane want to have a crack.
The cars are relatively simple and don’t require a truck full of engineers analysing data. It’s really down to driver ability, providing good feedback and having that feel. That’s good for the wallet too, fewer variables means fewer expenses, but that doesn’t diminish the product by any stretch of the imagination.
If the inclusion of current and former Supercars drivers does one thing, it’s that it gives everyone a benchmark of the talent level in Trans Am.
We’ve got a real mix of seasoned and hard-proven racers but we’ve also got a great pool of up-and-comers.
Molly Taylor won the 2016 Australian Rally Championship in a Subaru WRX STi. (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
This is a great platform for us to be able to notice talent because we can see people like Nathan Herne and Zach Bates and how they stack up against other superstars, such as Owen Kelly and now Brodie Kostecki, too.
Brodie is a gun, we know that, but don’t discount the guys in Trans Am. They’ve got the goods too.
If a young driver says ‘I won Trans Am’ that’s great, but to be able to do it in established company of current professional drivers, like Brodie, then you really understand where the level is at. That’s something that adds a lot of value for the next generation and another reason why we see such hard racing.
It’s a really good yardstick as well as being fun for everyone, especially for us viewers!
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