Fifth, tenth for pair of Camaro GT4.Rs on final SprintX weekend
ERDA, Utah – Blackdog Speed Shop recovered to strong finishing positions in the first of two SprintX races for the Pirelli World Challenge at Utah Motorsports Campus on Saturday. The four drivers and two Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs combined to gain 31 positions despite sweltering heat in the Utah desert.
Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim placed fifth in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R after starting 15th. But one of the stories of the race was the performance of Tony Gaples and Michael Cooper in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro.
The pairing finished 10th – an improvement of 21 places from the car’s starting positions to earn the race’s Hard Charger award.
Gaples experienced a brake system issue in Saturday morning’s qualifying sessions and began 31st of 33 cars. He wasted no time in moving through the field . He gained 10 spots in the first five laps and ran 18th when he pitted at the 25-minute mark for the mandatory driver change.
Cooper took over and cycled through to 15th once the pit stop window closed. It took him less than 10 minutes to pick up five spots to his eventual 10th-place finishing position.
Meanwhile, Pilgrim and Aschenbach made up a handful of positions in each of their stints. Pilgrim went from 15th to 10th in the first three laps and handed over to Aschenbach from 11th place.
The reigning GTS Champion rejoined seventh after another solid stop by the Blackdog Speed Shop crew. He gained another spot two laps later and raced his way into the top-five with 10 minutes to go. He withstood two furious challenges for his position in the closing laps but held his ground.
GTS SprintX Race 2 is scheduled for 11 a.m. MT on Sunday. Live race coverage will be available at World-Challenge.com as well as SiriusXM Channel 383.
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“We made a lot out of a little today, which is the name of the game in SprintX. Fifth was about the best we could realistically hope for, and in a lot of ways we really overachieved. Andy did a great job getting through the field early, and we had a really good pit stop to gain track position for the final push. Overall, a good day for us at Blackdog Speed Shop.”
ANDY PILGRIM, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“That was a pretty satisfying result for us today. After starting 15th, I thought we could challenge for the top-five but you never know how realistic that is in this series. Fortunately we had a great Camaro GT4.R, which allowed me to be fairly aggressive in the first couple of laps. Lawson and I can feel good about how things ended for us today.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“That may have been my best stint of the year. Thanks to the Blackdog Speed Shop crew for the lightning-fast repair job after qualifying to fix the brake system. Once we took the start and got through the first corner, I knew everything was OK and could start pushing to make up spots. The Camaro GT4.R was on rails. I was really pleased with it throughout the stint. Michael did a great job in his run to salvage a top-10 finish for us. All in all, a very solid and positive result.”
MICHAEL COOPER, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“Great job by Tony and everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop for a really positive race today. It was evident early that our Camaro was really good. Tony did a great job making up so many positions in his stint. I really wanted to close well for the team to see if we could sneak our way into the top-10. That was the goal after this morning, and it was great to see everyone come together to make that happen. We’re feeling good going into tomorrow.”
About Blackdog Speed Shop
Blackdog Speed Shop Blackdog Speed Shop is a high-performance, custom car builder in the northern suburbs of Chicago specializing in ground-up car builds, high-performance upgrades for engines, transmissions, suspension and exhaust including computer and dyno tuning. Whether you have a modern muscle car, vintage muscle, 1930s hot rod or a foreign exotic, you will enjoy the Blackdog experience.
Ever dreamed of piloting a real World Challenge race car? Blackdog offers rental and “arrive and drive” racing in addition to purpose-built cars. Call Blackdog today at (855) 4-BLACKDOG to schedule an appointment or discuss the best way to put you in the driver’s seat!
About Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R
Built to global GT4 regulations, the Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R is based on the road-going Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. It features a 6.2-liter, Chevrolet small block V8 that was developed and validated by Chevrolet Racing. Power is delivered to a six-speed Xtrac sequential transmission with paddle-shifting and adjustable traction control. Additional mechanical features include an Xtrac racing limited-slip differential, a two-way adjustable Ohlins Racing dampers and adjustable ABS along with Brembo brakes.
Blackdog Speed Shop at a Glance
• Pirelli World Challenge GTS Driver Championships – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
• Pirelli World Challenge GTS Team Championships – 2013, 2017
• Pirelli World Challenge GTS Manufacturer Championships – 2013, 2017
• Pirelli World Challenge GTS Victories: 25 – Most in class history
Chevrolet in Pirelli World Challenge
• Chevrolet Camaro second all-time in PWC victories by model (53).
• Chevrolet first all-time in PWC victories by brand (127)
• General Motors first all-time in PWC victories by manufacturer (190)
• Chevrolet five Manufacturer Championships (1990-91, 1994, 2013, 2017)