Taws spins out of season-ending race September 29, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): On the final lap of the final race of her 2003 racing season, Ashley Taws spun off the track and into a gravel trap. In heavy rain at the Mont-Tremblant Circuit in...
Taws spins out of season-ending race
September 29, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): On the final lap of the final race of her 2003 racing season, Ashley Taws spun off the track and into a gravel trap. In heavy rain at the Mont-Tremblant Circuit in Quebec, yesterday, the driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie" race car had worked her way from ninth to fourth before the spin.
From the outset, the finale of the 2003 Canadian Formula Ford Championship proved a challenge for the nineteen-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario. In the first of two qualifying sessions, she uncharacteristically qualified ninth, citing handling difficulties which her AIM Autosport crew traced to a broken anti-sway bar. Repairs were made, but rain washed away any chance of setting a better time in the second session.
It was still raining when the cars lined up to race, but Taws, an experienced ice racer, was unfazed by the slippery conditions. She made immediate gains when the race began, picking up two places as the nineteen-car pack surged away from the grid. In the early laps, several drivers spun, some repeatedly, but Taws looked comfortable sliding her car through the corners.
While the rain intensified, Taws looked solid and continued to move further up the order. She was fourth when the last of fifteen laps began.
A top-three finish was a distinct possibility, but with the checkered flag little more than a minute away, Taws slithered off the circuit. She was not alone however as several drivers lost control in the last-lap torrent.
Taws came to a safe stop in a gravel trap, but her tires sunk in the loose gravel and she was stuck.
"I drove a good race, but it was tricky because the car was hydroplaning a lot," Taws said. "The heavy rain caught me out on the last lap. When I braked, the back wheels locked for an instant and the car spun around."
Taws was classified fourteenth yesterday and, despite competing in just five of eight races this season, ranked seventh in the 2003 championship standings. In other races this year she finished third, fourth (twice) and ninth.
"I had a some good races this year," Taws said, "Thanks to my crew: Keith, Mark, Scott, Bill and Steve from AIM Autosport who always did a great job.
"I also wish to thank all the sponsors for their generous support. And, thanks to my dad who is my biggest fan."
Having spent two seasons competing in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, Taws hopes to move up a rung next year. It may be some time before her 2004 programme is arranged, but she hopes some winter testing will provide a few breaks from her studies at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.