Taws third in Canadian Formula Ford Championship Mont-Tremblant, Quebec (September 28, 2002): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship finished eighth in the season...
Taws third in Canadian Formula Ford Championship
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec (September 28, 2002): Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie at Wal-Mart" race car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship finished eighth in the season finale this afternoon at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant near St-Jovite, Quebec. The eighteen-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, charged from deep in the pack to collect enough points to finish equal third in the standings with former karting mate, Christopher Guerrieri.
In a field of 21, Taws qualified third for the race, lapping the 4.274-km, fifteen-turn course in one-minute, 45.443-seconds to line up behind teammate, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, and Guererri. The race began with the top drivers holding their positions, but on the second of fifteen laps, Dumoulin's car suffered a suspension failure and was hit by Jean-Philippe Papineau. That left Taws, Guerrieri and Chris Green fighting for the lead, but on lap four, all three went off at corner one. Green and Guerrieri were soon back underway, but Taws came off much worse, falling to near last.
Although there was some suspension damage and her car was not handling well, Taws charged around the track, regaining ground lap after lap. With one lap to go, she was tenth, but overtook two cars on the final trip around the track and finished eighth. Guerrieri came home fifth and, when the points were tallied, the former karting competitors were equal at 85, tying not only for third in the championship, but also for the Rookie-of-the-Year title.
"It's been quite a year," said Taws. "And, the ending was pretty exciting. Chris (Guerrieri) and I raced together at the Toronto Kart Club, then we both moved up to cars and didn't see each-other for a year or two. Now here we are in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship finishing dead even."
With the season over, Taws can reflect on a remarkable season. Highlights include the first race of the season when, in her debut at this level, she became the first woman in the history of the series to finish on the podium (top three), and the Toronto Indy, in July, where she made history by claiming pole position.
"I've had a very successful year, but I didn't do it by myself," she said. "I had amazing backing from my sponsors: Barbie, Wal-Mart, Ray-O-Vac, NeoCorr, Pure Solutions and Castrol. AIM Autosport did a great job preparing the car and making it fast for every race, and there are people behind the scenes that work very hard so I can go racing. The series was excellent, with some really big events and a good group of competitors.
"Special thanks to all the fans and media. The response was unbelievable and I hope it made my sponsors happy that they chose to support me. I had a great time and I can't wait for the 2003 season."