"Be Anything With Barbie" race car driver Ashley Taws claimed two top-four finishes in Formula 1200 action at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec Sunday. The results helped the seventeen-year-old Newmarket, Ontario, resident consolidate her hold...
"Be Anything With Barbie" race car driver Ashley Taws claimed two top-four finishes in Formula 1200 action at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec Sunday. The results helped the seventeen-year-old Newmarket, Ontario, resident consolidate her hold on second place in the Isseco-Kumho Formula 1200 Championship.
Taws was excited to be back behind the wheel after a six-week gap in the schedule. During the break she had been touring around Ontario, taking her "Be Anything With Barbie" car to two Wal-Mart stores each weekend.
Ashley's enthusiasm was not even be dampened by rain which pelted Mont-Tremblant on Friday and Saturday making practice and qualifying soggy. Rain is usually a great separator at a race track, but the F-1200 qualifying times were as close as ever, underlining just how competitive this series has become. Ashley qualified seventh to start race one from inside the fourth row.
"Vallis Motor Sport did a super job getting the car set up for the rain," reported Ashley. "But qualifying was quite tricky. Drafting is a big part of qualifying, but it was hard to see through the spray from the car you were trying to draft. It was a bit scary, but really exciting!"
Sunday turned out to be a fine fall day and both races took place under clear skies. In race one, Taws inherited several places as cars ahead of her spun on the fist lap. Unfortunately, one of the cars spun directly in front of her and she had to take a trip across the grass to avoid a collision. As she steered back onto the asphalt, the lead pair of cars sped out of reach and her immediate challenge was Chris Hart who had taken third place while she trundled across the wet grass. They battled tooth and nail, but Hart took third ahead of Ashley.
The second race was more typical of Formula 1200 competition with a pack of six cars scrapping fiercely at the front. From her fourth-place start, Ashley fought her way to third, then second. Snapping at the heels of leader Brent Gilkes, while fending off attacks from behind, she waited for the right moment to pounce for the lead. Coming down the straight on the final lap, Ashley made her move, but Gilkes defiantly resisted. She let him go and elected to try a again later in the lap, but as she set Gilkes up at the final corner, Neil Ryan made a surprise move to steal second from her. Ashley finished third, her seventh top-three finish in ten races.
With just one event (two races) remaining in the championship, the top three are almost cast. Ashley has only a slim chance of taking the championship away from Gilkes, while her hold on second over Eric Budwit is also quite solid. The season finale takes place at Mosport International Raceway next weekend. After that, Ashley will return to the "Be Anything With Barbie" tour with nine more Wal-Mart appearances.