Taws to Race Honda-Michelin This Weekend May 17, 2004 (Toronto, Canada): Race driver Ashley Taws will drive a Honda-Michelin car this weekend, thanks to Honda Canada, but any further racing this year is dependant on finding sponsors. That Taws...
Taws to Race Honda-Michelin This Weekend
May 17, 2004 (Toronto, Canada): Race driver Ashley Taws will drive a Honda-Michelin car this weekend, thanks to Honda Canada, but any further racing this year is dependant on finding sponsors. That Taws has no full-time drive is certain to come as a surprise to many as the talented twenty-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, is very popular with fans, sponsors and media.
Taws, who started racing cars just four years ago after seven years of karting, came to prominence over the last three years thanks in part to a sponsorship agreement with Mattel. Driving the Barbie car, first in Formula 1200 then in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, Taws captured the hearts and imaginations of countless race fans, consumers and children. However, after a three-year stint, Mattel elected to change direction and Taws's famous pink race car is now a thing of the past.
"Mattel was great," Taws reflected. "They were very much behind me and I could not have raced without their support. I worked really hard to promote Barbie, and Mattel was very happy with the exposure. I'm very grateful to have had such a fantastic sponsor for three years."
Although a new deal with a new sponsor appeared to be in place, it recently fell apart and, just weeks before the new season, it appeared Taws had no ride for 2004. As word trickled out, the phone began to ring. Honda offered a seat for the opening round of the new Honda-Michelin street-stock series and CASCAR entrant, Racesportz, offered a test.
The CASCAR test took place May 7 on Mosport International Raceway's road course and Taws quickly looked comfortable in the big, powerful stock car. She was not afraid to push and find the machine's limits, but unfortunately went a little to far near the end of the day and spun into the wall at the exit of turn one.
Taws is now looking forward to racing in the Honda-Michelin series this weekend, also on Mosport's road course.
"I'm itching to go," said Taws. "It's been a long winter with too many ups and downs, so it will be great to finally put on my helmet and go racing. I'm really looking forward to this weekend and I wish to thank Honda Canada for the support. I very much appreciate this opportunity.
"I'd also like to thank Racesportz for the CASCAR test. It was a great experience."
Ashley is focused on getting a full-time program together for next year while trying to stay as active as possible this year. The search for sponsorship continues.