March 20, 2003 (Toronto, Ontario): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything with Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car has vowed to return to competition this year as she continues to make an impressive recovery from serious injuries incurred in a traffic...
March 20, 2003 (Toronto, Ontario): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything with Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car has vowed to return to competition this year as she continues to make an impressive recovery from serious injuries incurred in a traffic accident in December. The nineteen-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, made the announcement during a press conference held today at the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Taws hopes to return to the Canadian Formula Ford Championship late this season, possibly in August. Until she is ready, a team of drivers has been lined up to drive the AIM Autosport-prepped Barbie car. Andrew Bordin, Mark Wilkins, Rob McDonald and Taws's 2002 team mate Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, all drivers who have raced with AIM in the past, will take turns driving the famous pink race car.
"It will be exiting to have the Barbie car racing even though I won't be behind the wheel for a while," said Taws who was recently released from rehab far ahead of schedule. "It's a great arrangement for the sponsors, the team and for me. The car will be in action and I can take over when I'm sure I'm ready. I'd like to thank Barbie, Ray-O-Vac, NeoCorr, Pure Solutions and Castrol for their continued support and I'm happy to add Heinz this year. I'm lucky to have sponsors like these."
"I'm also very grateful for all the support from race fans and everyone involved with my racing programme," she added.
Taws is working hard to regain her strength and stamina before climbing back in her race car. She hopes to be able to begin testing by July in order to get tuned up for her comeback race.
The 2003 Canadian Formula Ford Championship is an eight-race series with rounds at several premier motorsport events. Last year, as a rookie, Taws reset the series' 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.