Ashley Taws to meet Qu?bec police in Montr?al

Driver of Barbie race car to meet Québec police in Montréal Toronto, Ontario (August 21, 2002): Newmarket, Ontario, native Ashley Taws, who drives the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship,...

Driver of Barbie race car to meet Québec police in Montréal

Toronto, Ontario (August 21, 2002): Newmarket, Ontario, native Ashley Taws, who drives the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, will be in Montréal tomorrow to participate in an autograph session at the Ford Racing Festival on Crescent Street. While at the Crescent Street festival, eighteen-year-old Taws will have the opportunity to meet members of the Sûreté du Québec police force who were instrumental in locating her race car when it was stolen earlier this month.

Taws will be one of several drivers from the Canadian Formula Ford Championship displaying their cars tomorrow, but the day will take on special significance when she meets with the Sûreté du Québec to thank them for their efforts in finding her race car. Following the Grand Prix de Trois Rivières in early August, Taws and members of the AIM Autosport team, who prepare the Barbie car, discovered that the truck and trailer used to transport the team's equipment had been stolen during the night.

Taws will be able to personally thank police officers for their quick response which led to the timely recovery of the Barbie car. Within 36 hours of the theft, police were able to locate the trailer and the race car of Taws' teammate, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, near Aimé, Québec. Several hours later, the Barbie car, Barbie scooter and assorted parts and equipment were found in a cornfield near Yamaska, Québec. The team's truck was found near Cornwall, Ontario, however, AIM Autosport's lap top computers and an assortment of tools and spare parts are still missing.

"I'm looking forward to being on Crescent Street for the autograph session," said Taws. "When I raced in Montréal during the Formula One weekend, the public response to the Barbie race car was incredible. It's going to be fun to meet with fans again, but I'm especially happy that I'll get a chance to meet with some of the police officers who helped located our stolen race car.

"The Sûreté du Québec did a really great job and the fact that they found everything less than two days after it was stolen was amazing. When they found my teammate's car and mine wasn't with it, I thought it was gone for good, but the police just kept looking. Thanks to them, I was able to race at Mosport last weekend and stay in the hunt for the Rookie-of-the-Year title. I think they deserve a lot of credit for their great work."

Taws will meet officers from Sûreté du Québec on Crescent Street at noon tomorrow and will participate in an autograph session lasting until approximately 2:00 pm.

Last weekend, Taws raced at Mosport International Raceway and earned her second podium finish of the season by finishing in second place. She currently leads the Rookie-of-the-Year standings in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship. Her next race, the season finale, will be held at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, September 27-29.

-atr/mj-

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