Lacey Taylor: A legacy of courage and inspiration

Australian co-driver, who overcame the odds to live life at full throttle, is remembered by her partner Chris Carney


In the world of rallying, the bond between driver and co-driver is pivotal, a blend of trust, skill, and sheer nerve.

Lacey Taylor, a name now synonymous with determination and inspiration within the motorsport community she graced, exemplified what it means to push beyond personal limits.

Her journey, marked by fearless ambition and a radiant spirit, left an indelible imprint on the lives she touched, both on and off the track.

Lacey’s story is not just one of motorsport success; it is a narrative of personal triumph over the constraints of fear, societal expectations, and life’s most harrowing challenges.

It is with a heavy heart that we recount the career of a woman whose life was a beacon of encouragement to many but was abruptly halted by an unforgiving illness at the age of only 31.


Taylor left a huge legacy within the motorsport world and beyond

Lacey’s foray into co-driving began in 2017 when her close friend Chris Carney urged her to join him in his childhood dream to become a rally driver. Despite initial hesitation and a litany of reasons why she couldn’t, it was a simple question from Chris that shifted her perspective: “Why can’t you?”

After a tumultuous first encounter with the intensity of a male-dominated sport, Lacey’s resolve only strengthened. Her initial fear and anxiety, which once seemed insurmountable, gradually transformed into an insatiable hunger for speed and precision.

Rising through the ranks, Lacey showcased her burgeoning talent as a co-driver at the Targa Great Barrier Reef in her native Queensland, Australia. She guided Chris and their Toyota C-HR to an impressive seventh-place finish in their first national-level Tarmac rally.


Taylor and Carney enjoyed plenty of success as their rallying careers grew

Lacey’s dedication to her passion did not wane with the birth of her children, Sebastian and Phoebe. Instead, she became a symbol of hope for many women, demonstrating that motherhood and personal dreams are not mutually exclusive.

Balancing her role as a mother with the rigors of rallying, Lacey continued to compete, earning admiration for her ability to navigate life’s multifaceted demands with grace.

In the high-octane world of rallying, Lacey was recognized for her skill as a co-driver and her tenacity in the face of adversity.

Critics questioned her decision to compete on the treacherous terrain of the Targa Great Barrier Reef while pregnant with Phoebe. But Lacey, always one to challenge societal norms, excelled with an inspirational performance in the Lexus IS-F.


Even pregnancy didn't stop Taylor taking on Targa Great Barrier Reef with Carney in a Lexus IS-F

In 2022, Lacey’s vibrant life took a devastating turn when she was diagnosed with advanced and aggressive bowel cancer. With the same tenacity she exhibited on the rally stages, Lacey fought valiantly against the disease. Supported by Chris, who was now her partner, and their children, she explored every possible treatment, but the cancer proved relentless.

On February 23, 2023, Lacey Taylor passed away, surrounded by her loved ones, leaving an irreplaceable void in the hearts of those who knew her. Her passing was not just a loss for her family and friends, but for everyone in the motorsport community who had come to admire her grit and relentless spirit.

The farewell service for Lacey was a poignant tribute that mirrored the vibrancy of a life lived at full throttle. As mourners gathered to honor her memory, the air filled with the revving of engines, a fitting salute to a remarkable rally co-driver.

The procession was led by a convoy of rally cars, each one representing a chapter of Lacey’s career. It was a truly memorable send-off that captured the essence of an amazing woman who had conquered the sport with grit and grace.


Taylor's death hit the motorsport community hard, but the memories of her determination live on 

Beyond her motorsport accolades, Lacey was also revered for her professional accomplishments. As the brand and marketing manager for a major automotive dealership group, she displayed an unwavering dedication and sharp business acumen, characteristics that paralleled her approach to rallying.

The stories shared by those at her service painted the picture of a woman who, despite her many successes, remained modest and grounded. Lacey Taylor’s life was full of passion and humility, and her final farewell was as extraordinary as the path she blazed in both her professional endeavors and her rallying exploits.

In the wake of her death, Chris was inundated with messages from women inspired by Lacey’s journey. Her legacy was clear: she had encouraged countless women to challenge themselves, to explore their capabilities in motorsport and beyond.

Sebastian, now seven, shines with intelligence and a burgeoning interest in cars, much like his mother. His future in motorsport seems assured, whether as a team engineer or principal.

Phoebe, only two at the time of her mother’s passing, already exhibits the fearless and determined qualities that defined Lacey. With Chris and her family’s guidance, the possibilities for Phoebe seem boundless, and her mother’s indomitable spirit lives on.

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Phoebe has certainly inherited her mother's fearlessness

As the motorsport community continues to reflect on Lacey’s life, her impact resonates beyond the trophies and podiums. Her story is a poignant reminder of the human spirit’s capacity to inspire, to challenge conventions, and to pursue dreams against all odds.

Lacey’s memory serves as a beacon for aspiring racers and dreamers everywhere, proving that with courage and conviction, every barrier is surmountable. Her journey was more than a series of races; it was a testament to the power of perseverance, the importance of chasing one’s dreams, and the incredible strength found in the face of adversity.

Her legacy is not marked by the tragedy of her untimely departure but by the countless lives she has motivated to ask the simple yet potentially life-changing question: “Why can’t you?”