Taws fourth in fantastic Molson Indy comeback. July 08, 2002 (Toronto, Ontario): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship charged through the field to finish fourth yesterday...
Taws fourth in fantastic Molson Indy comeback.
July 08, 2002 (Toronto, Ontario): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship charged through the field to finish fourth yesterday at the Molson Indy Toronto. The eighteen-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, started the race from pole, but a bad start and a momentary engine problem saw her fall to twentieth before storming back to cross the line challenging for third.
After topping the charts in qualifying sessions held Friday and Saturday, Taws was clearly the crowd favourite to win the race which followed yesterday's CART Championship Car race on a 2.824-km (1.755-mile) temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place. In only her fourth race at this level, inexperience cost Taws several places when she failed to get away cleanly from the standing start. Then, on lap two, running seventh and intending to fight her way back to the front, her race went from bad to worse when the engine stalled as she braked for a corner and she fell to twentieth.
"I just got a bad start," Taws said. "My practice start was no good either, so it's something I have to work on. When the engine stalled, I thought I was finished for the day because it just stopped. The guys ahead braked really early for a corner and I had to stamp on the brakes. Maybe I let the revs drop to low. I was coasting while everyone went past, but I got restarted and everything was fine after that."
Race fans that stuck around for the final race of the day were treated to the best race of the weekend. While Taws put on a magnificent display coming through the pack, her AIM Autosport teammate, Louis-Phillipe Dumoulin, was embroiled in a battle for the lead.
At the half-way point of the twenty-lap race, Taws was twelfth. Four laps later she was sixth and still pouring it on when a full-course caution temporarily halted her charge. After a few laps under yellow flags, the race restarted and Taws got right back to work. In the closing laps, she climbed to fourth and was hounding third-placed Eric Paradis on the final lap. In fact, they finished with a neck-and-neck drag race to the line as Dumoulin took the win.
"I had a really good race and passed a lot of cars, but I'm disappointed about the start," Taws said. "I nearly got to the podium, but not quite. L-P (Louis-Phillipe) won and I got pole so this was a good weekend for AIM Autosport. The Barbie car was perfect all weekend. The guys on my team put in a lot of work and I got pole because of them. I hope I can give them a win soon."
Next up for Taws in Grand Prix Trois Rivieres where two races will be held on the streets of the city August 2-4.