Taws Thirteenth in Honda-Michelin Race May 24, 2004 (Toronto, Canada): Thanks to a one-race deal from Honda Canada, Ashley Taws competed in her first sedan race yesterday, finishing thirteenth in the Honda-Michelin Series season opener at...
Taws Thirteenth in Honda-Michelin Race
May 24, 2004 (Toronto, Canada): Thanks to a one-race deal from Honda Canada, Ashley Taws competed in her first sedan race yesterday, finishing thirteenth in the Honda-Michelin Series season opener at Mosport International Raceway. An open-wheel specialist, Taws had much to learn about racing street-stocks, but enjoyed the challenge and experience.
The twenty-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario, came to the event with no prior experience or testing and found her open-wheel past provided only a rudimentary foundation for racing a sedan.
"The Honda-Michelin is a road car so it's much heavier than I'm used to," Taws said. "It takes a different style of driving and some adjustments were difficult.
"Compared to a formula (open-wheel) car, it's heavier and taller so it rolls and slides more in the turns. It doesn't accelerate or brake as quickly and you have to use a later apex for the corners. It's front-wheel drive too.
"The most difficult thing was adjusting to how much the car could be pushed. I tended to overdrive the car and that hurt my lap times."
After a test session on Thursday and short practice session on Friday, a qualifying session was held late Saturday morning. Ashley gridded twelfth in a field of eighteen.
The race took place on Sunday afternoon in wet and changing conditions. For sixteen laps, the Honda-Michelin drivers put on a terrific show on a track that was different every lap.
Taws lost a few places as she settled in during the opening laps. Then the rain began to intensify and Ashley looked confident as other drivers struggled. Sheets of water flowed across the track and cars slithered around the circuit. Taws made up much of what was lost in the early going, climbing back to thirteenth but the rain soon let up and she could make no more progress.
"I wanted a better result, but I think I did well given the circumstances," said Taws. "I had fun and it was nice to stay dry during a wet race. I've never had that before!
"I'd like to thank Honda Canada for giving me the opportunity to race in the Honda-Michelin series. Thanks to Ralph Luciw for making the arrangements, and thanks to my pit crew Rob, Rob and John for their hard work and helpful advice."
Taws, who became well known for her Formula Ford successes in 2002 and 2003, finds herself with out a full-time ride this year due to a lack of sponsorship. She hopes to stay as active as possible this year while focusing on putting together a full-time program for next year.