Cooper Finishes 5th/10th, Gaples Battles Adversity to Finish 14th at Streets of St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSURG, Fla – The St. Petersburg Marina was a beautiful backdrop to a weekend full of Pirelli World Challenge racing.

In his third race with Blackdog Speed Shop, newcomer Michael Cooper finished Friday’s race P7 in the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, after starting in the P7 position.

“The Blackdog Speed Shop crew did an incredible job preparing the #10 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R for the racing at St. Pete,” remarked Cooper.

“It was great to drive the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Z/28.R’s on the streets of St. Petersburg,” said Gaples. “I ran into some issues on the start that cost me some positions but thanks to attrition I was able to finish where I started. I pedaled as hard as I could but wasn’t able to fight my way past P14.”

Cooper started the second race of the weekend on Saturday from the P9 position. Passing his way to P3 on the start, Cooper received the Best Standing Start award for advancing 6 positions on the start. As the racing continued, Cooper fell back to P5 and held that position for the duration of the race.

“Saturday I got the best standing start in the field shooting from 9th all the way to 3rd place,” exclaimed Cooper. “My Z/28.R was handling so well, I drove qualifying laps for the entire race, but unfortunately this wasn’t enough to hold onto a podium position. Still it made for a very exciting race around the street course, because all any race car driver wants to do is go flat out!”

Trouble continued for Gaples who started the race P18. After contact with another vehicle on the start, Gaples was forced to retire to the pits.

“It feels as though my #11 Z/28.R has an Aston Martin magnet,” said Gaples. “It first began at COTA, next on Thursday during qualifying here in St Pete, and again in Saturday’s race. The hit on Saturday retired the car for the day.”

Watch rounds 1 and 2 of Pirelli World Challenge GTS racing on CBS Sports Network Saturday April 5th at 5 PM central time. Racing continues at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama April 24th through the 26th!

The Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro program is sponsored and supported by Eibach Springs, Goodwin Competition, and OMP Racing.

Special thanks to Team Chevy.

Blackdog Speed Shop builds more than just racecars. Whether you race competitively, attend the occasional trackday, or like to cruise the back roads, Blackdog will help you get more enjoyment out of your favorite car, be it a Chevrolet Camaro, a Mazda Miata, or the newest Porsche 911. From simple brake and suspension upgrades to complete motor builds, dyno-tuning, and resto-mods, Blackdog can help!

Ever dreamed of piloting a real World Challenge car? Blackdog offers rental and “arrive and drive” racing in addition to purpose built cars available for sale. Call Blackdog today to schedule an appointment or discuss the best way to put you in the driver’s seat! 1-855-4-BLACKDOG

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