Toronto, Ontario (August 17, 2002): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" car, finished second this afternoon in the penultimate round of the Canadian Formula Ford Championship at Mosport International Raceway. Taws, an...
Toronto, Ontario (August 17, 2002): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" car, finished second this afternoon in the penultimate round of the Canadian Formula Ford Championship at Mosport International Raceway. Taws, an eighteen-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, holds third place in the championship standings and is the top-ranked rookie.
After being in the spotlight recently after her race car was stolen following the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres, Taws was excited to be back in her car. She qualified fourth for today's race with a lap of 1-minute, 30.995-seconds around the 3.967-km (2.459-mile) road course and, remarkably, accomplished this with a deflating front tire that was nearly flat when she rolled back onto pit lane.
At the start of today's race, Taws fell to eighth when Ryan Floer, who had qualified second and was lined up in front of her, didn't get away well. Half-way through the fifteen-lap race, however, Taws had worked her way forward to join a furious five-way battle for the lead and, on lap nine, she was fourth when second and third-placed Didier Schraenen and Christopher Guerrieri tangled at turn five. She threaded her way through the mayhem to move into second place behind AIM Autosport teammate, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
The field lapped slowly behind the pace car while Schraenen, whose car had been flipped into the air and landed upside-down, was checked out by medical staff (he was not injured) and his heavily damaged vehicle was removed from the track.
The race was restarted on lap fourteen allowing Taws and Dumoulin to duke it out for two laps. The AIM cars broke away from the field and several times they ran side-by-side. On the last lap, Taws tucked up behind her teammate as they blasted around the track. Dumoulin moved to the right to defend his position as they approached the right-hander at the end of the straight, but Taws was not deterred. She pulled alongside, looking to go around the outside, but could not pull off the pass taking the long way through the turn.
"Except for the start, I was probably smiling all the way through the race," said Taws. "There was lots of action and I made a couple of nice passes. I had a good time fighting with Louis-Philippe (Dumoulin) in the last couple of laps and I thought I could bring the Barbie car home first today, but I just couldn't get past.
"The guys from AIM Autosport always do a great job and that was proven today with the one-two finish. Louis-Phillipe won the championship with his win today and I moved up into third in the standings. I'm looking forward to more good things at Mont-Tremblant, but it will be a bit of a downer too, because it's the end of the season."
The Canadian Formula Ford Championship winds up at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, September 27-29.