It seems like it’s been a long time since we’ve heard from Ashley Taws. Ontario race fans and their kids will recognize her as the popular pilot of the Barbie Car. Here in The Garage, our 13 year old racer still has one of Ashley’s fan cards in her room. Taws took Ontario grassroots open wheel racing to heights it had never seen with the successful partnership with Walmart and Barbie. Sadly, Miss Taws was a passenger in a serious road crash that caused sever injuries. A return to racing was short lived, as the ongoing pain prevented her from driving.
That is all in the past now. On Thursday, Ashley Taws announced a two pronged attack on the racing world. Not only will she be road racing in the Canadian Touring Car Championship Super Touring Series in a BMW E30, but Ashley will also tackle the Ontario Sportsman Series in a Dodge Charger. That’s right, the Barbie Car is going stock car racing! This is going to be great.
Toronto, Ontario, May 3 2007 – Ashley Taws revealed two Barbie at Wal*Mart race cars today as she announced plans to compete in the Ontario Sportsman Series and selected Super Touring Car races. With backing from Barbie, Wal*Mart, Polly Pocket, Dare Bear Paws and several other sponsors, the 23-year-old from Newmarket, Ont., unveiled two pink cars: a Barbie at Wal*Mart Dodge Charger Stock Car and a Barbie at Wal*Mart BMW E30 Super Touring Car.
Taws is thrilled to be returning to competition and especially pleased to be returning with Barbie. Likewise, Barbie-maker Mattel is happy to resume its association with Taws.
“It’s a pleasure and an honour to once again provide support to a young lady who epitomizes the Barbie ideal to ‘B Who U Wanna B’ with young girls,” said Nilo Del Bel, Senior National Account Manager at Mattel Canada Inc.
Racing stock cars will be a new world for the petite Taws. Having only raced once on an oval – almost 7 years ago in a tiny Formula 1200 car – adapting to a full-size stock car and competing against experienced oval racers is going to be a big challenge. With DJ Kennington working with her and his team, DJK Racing, preparing her car, Taws will have all she needs to learn and progress.
The Super Touring Car will feel more like the light, nimble formula cars she is used to. Although it began life as production car, the BMW has been transformed by Vertex Fabworx and is now a true race car — light and fully race-prepped with performance and safety gear. Taws will likely feel quite at home pushing the Barbie BMW to its limits.
Taws will make her return to competition driving the Barbie Super Touring Car at Mosport International Raceway on May 19 in the USERA (United States Enduro Racing Association) Sundown GP, a three-hour endurance run which she’ll co-drive with Vertex Fabworx drivers Jordan Marrison and Brock Gilboe. Her debut in the Barbie stock car will come on June 16 at Mosport Speedway.
The greatest impact in terms of attention is sure to come at the Grand Prix of Toronto, July 6-8, where Ashley will drive in the Canadian Touring Car Championship Super Touring race. Ashley has raced the streets of Toronto twice in the past, endearing herself to fans and earning widespread media coverage for her on-track performance. Racing in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship, she took pole position and finished fourth in 2002, then finished fourth in 2003, her first race since being severely injured in an off-season highway accident. Sadly, a lack of endurance and legacy injuries kept the comeback short-lived.
Ashly is now healthy and remains a feisty competitor. Fans will have many opportunities to meet Ashley and see her Barbie race car as she’ll make nearly 40 appearances at Wal*Mart stores across Ontario this year. Her popular website, www.ashleytaws.com, will be back and is currently the final stages of a complete rebuild.
She returns to racing with the support of Barbie, Wal*Mart, Polly Pocket, Dare Bear Paws, Keystone Benefits, Kwik Kopy, Open Road BMW, Samsung, and Mark Jackson.