Some of you may remember Ashley van Dyke from Bullrun 2006, where she drove a Mercedes E55 AMG. Since she also participated in this years Playersrun we had a little interview with Ashley to round up our coverage of the Playersrun 2007.
Although we knew very little about Ashley one thing was clear straight away, racing is in her blood. Her grandfather was a NASCAR director and racing played a vital role in her family. When she grew older her desire to race herself grew bigger and bigger. But before she could make the big step into professional racing she entered the Playersrun in 2005. It was the first of a number of roadrallies Ashley participated in. About her first rally she says: ‘I don’t think you can really compare anything to your first rally. It’s like loosing your viginity’. The 2005 Players Run took Ashley from Seattle to Las Vegas in a supercharged Honda NSX.
Ashley who, next to racing driver, also is a host and tv-presenter drives an Audi at the moment but asked for her favourite car admits she rather has a Maserati MC12, a race car based on the Ferrari Enzo, which she fell in love with at first sight at the start of this years Players Run.
This is the second time Ashley entered the Playersrun. She describes it as ‘an exotic automotive poker run that travels from city to city over the course of five days. We collect a playing card at each checkpoint. The person that has the best poker hand after five days wins a plaque and of course bragging rights for the best poker hand.’ Asking if she was much of a poker player she continued: ‘Day one I drew a king of diamonds but then we pulled a bunch of low cards ending with only a pair of kings with ace high. I think the winner had four of a kind.’
Ashley drove a Aston Martin V8 Vantage which was included with the Ecirkit Playersrun competition she won. She picked Jon Goodrich of Team Polizei as a co-driver and this worked out really well. Asked for the strength and weaknesses of their team she quickly responds: ‘Jon is amazing. We both drove about the same amount of miles and he kept me laughing the whole way. Our only weakness is that our good looks and driving abilities makes us tough competition with others.’ Right, that brings us to the next subject. Ashley already established somekind of racing-chick image on the Bullrun 2006 and I quote a couple other participants here: “The AMG Dolls are driving the hell out of their E55 AMG and Ashley is most likely going to lose her license when she returns to New Jersey for her court appearance.” We were keen to find out what happened on the Playersrun this year. Apart from a couple random stops by the police Ashley didn’t have much trouble at this years Playersrun unless we mention that one incident in Idaho, where she was stopped for doing 106 mph and the cop wanted to book her for racing, but in the end decided to let her go as long as she wasn’t driving again in Idaho.
Playersrun is the most posh I’ve experienced and after doing the Bullrun, Joyride, 11 99 and various other events she knows what she’s talking about. ‘They really feed you well and take care of everything so you can just enjoy and have a good time.’ Her absolute favourite of this years Playersrun was the time at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where she got the opportunity to do the Mario Andretti Racing School.
When Ashley had to pick one car of this years Playersrun grid she would pick the Mercedes CLK-AMG DTM, although she immediatly adjusted her answer by saying that if she could pick any car, not just the cars from the grid, a Bentley Continetal GT Convertible would be her pick for the Playersrun. Team Darkcyd was without a doubt her biggest competitor, with five cars including two Bentley Continental GT’s and a McLaren SLR they simply outnumbered all the others.
What brings the future for Ashley van Dyke? ‘I’m attending the Bondurant racing school at the end of the month in Arizona. In a couple of years I would like to retire from rallies and move on to more legitimate forms of racing; driving the pants off in a professional league would be it! Some day after I’ve had my fun racing, driving and hosting I want to direct and build my own rally course in the mountains, somewhere in the northwest of the united states…
We wish Ashley the best of luck and hope to see her in action again soon!