Molly Taylor says she's been left heartbroken by the engine failure that robbed her of a second consecutive Australian Rally Championship title.
The female rally star made history this time 12 months ago when she became the first woman to win the Australian Rally Championship.
She looked set to add a second consecutive title this time around, the factory-backed Subaru driver heading into Rally Australia – the final ARC round of the season – with a healthy lead over privateer Nathan Quinn.
However her campaign came undone during Saturday's afternoon loop when her car developed an engine problem on SS13. The Subaru crew worked all night to try and repair the car, and did get her out for the start of Sunday's stages, but she was soon back in the Service Park and out of the rally.
That meant by making it to the finish, Quinn became the 2017 ARC winner.
"It's heartbreaking, there's no way around that," said Taylor.
"Everything was going to plan, but it's motorsport and it always picks the worst time to break your heart.
"We tried absolutely everything last night; we worked to last minute and knew it was a long shot to get stages in [on Sunday], but we gave it our best crack.
"Back-to-back would've been the dream and this year we've been competitive. Apart from the first round we were on the podium at every event. We worked so hard for it this year.
"You put literally your whole life into it. It's not just a disappointing weekend, it's a piece of you."
Title win a 'miracle' for Quinn
Emotions ran equally high for Quinn at the completion of Rally Australia, although for different reasons.
The Coffs Harbour native savoured his underdog win on home soil, arriving at the end of the Wedding Bells Power Stage in tears as he secured an unlikely title.
"Lunchtime yesterday I had a massive lead, and I was quite frustrated," said Quinn.
"I said 'we need a miracle to win the championship. I've done everything perfectly. I can't have a more perfect weekend, now I need a miracle to win the championship'.
"It's a shame that it had to happen to Molly like that, but it was the miracle that we needed."
The triumph came after a year of struggling for a budget, Quinn forced to borrow money from his partner to even pay the pre-season registration so he was eligible for points.
"I actually got a loan, a $1500 loan or whatever it was, off my girlfriend to enter," he said.
"It was kind of planned out, but I didn't think it would work out. I guess you could say it's a fairy tale."