August 24, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Nineteen-year-old Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie" race car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, drove a 600-horsepower Modified racer at Merrittville Speedway yesterday evening. The ...
August 24, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Nineteen-year-old Ashley Taws, driver of the "Be Anything With Barbie" race car in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, drove a 600-horsepower Modified racer at Merrittville Speedway yesterday evening. The Newmarket, Ontario, resident drove eight demonstration laps around the banked, 3/8-mile, clay oval in Thorold, Ontario.
Driving Pete Bicknell's number 42 car, while he followed in another Modified racer, Taws took two easy laps before unleashing the full 600 horses below her right foot. Tires spinning, the car wriggled as it blasted down the front straight much to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd.
With each lap Taws pushed a little harder working on the power slide that makes dirt racing so spectacular. All too soon though, time was up and the checkered flag flew.
"It seemed like only 30 seconds, it was over so quick," said Taws after the run. "I tried to slide the car through the corners more each time. It was totally different to anything I've driven before, but if I had twenty more laps, I could have really started to push it."
Even Bicknell seemed impressed by the petite young driver's heavy right foot and said it was strange to watch his own car squat under power when Taws let it rip.
A hit with fans and racers alike, Taws signed hundreds of autographs. Equally, Merrittville was a hit with Taws who enjoyed the experience immensely.
"I had a great time and I'd love to do it again," she said. "I'd like to thank Pete and Nancy Bicknell, Merrittville Speedway, Bicknell Racing Products and Raceline Radio for organizing everything and giving me this opportunity. I'd also like to say thanks to the fans who were so friendly and thanks to the staff at the track for all their help."
Taws currently has a break from competitive racing as the Canadian Formula Ford Championship does not race again until the season finale at Mont-Tremblant, September 27-29.