Barbie Car second by an eyelash May 24, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): The "Be Anything with Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car finished second today, nipped at the line as the second round of the 2003 Canadian Formula Ford Championship took place at Lime...
Barbie Car second by an eyelash
May 24, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): The "Be Anything with Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car finished second today, nipped at the line as the second round of the 2003 Canadian Formula Ford Championship took place at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. With substitute driver Louis-Philippe Dumoulin filling in for injured regular Ashley Taws, the pink race car missed winning by a scant seven-thousandths of a second.
Starting today's race from the third row after qualifying sixth, Dumoulin moved ahead in the early laps and was up to third after nine trips around the 2.462-km-long course. Olivier Lambert and Chris Guerrieri were embroiled in an intense scrap ahead of Dumoulin and it soon became a three-way battle for the lead. With two-thirds of the race completed, the three cars went into the first corner side by side and when they came out, the Barbie car was in the lead.
Taws, who continues to recover from injuries received in a traffic accident, watched excitedly as her 2002 team mate and reigning series Champion seemed headed for victory. However, as she helped call the race from the tower, it became clear her car would be involved in a tremendously exciting finish.
On the last of 25 laps, Dumoulin led, but AIM Autosport team mate Dan Burchill was in hot pursuit. As they came to the line, the cars were side by side and, visually, there was nothing between them. Thanks to precise electronic timing, however, the results were available instantly; the win was Burchill's.
"I can't wait to get out there and race the Barbie car again," said Taws, "this is far too exciting to watch from the sidelines.
"We had a perfect result for the team. The AIM Autosport guys obviously did a great job preparing both cars, and L-P (Dumoulin) and Dan (Burchill) did everything right on the track."
This is the second week in a row that Taws has watched her car come close to victory. Last weekend at Mosport International Raceway, Dumoulin took the lead on the last lap, only for a gearbox failure to strike moments later.
Taws, who was badly injured in a traffic accident last December, hopes to return to racing at the Toronto Indy in July. Last year, the energetic teenager reset Canadian Formula Ford Championship records for female drivers with several impressive performances, including winning pole position at the Toronto Indy. She finished the season tied on points for third in the championship and rookie of the year.