Fourth GTS Driver’s title for Blackdog Speed Shop
AUSTIN, Texas – Blackdog Speed Shop’s Lawson Aschenbach unofficially clinched the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Driver’s Championship on Sunday at Circuit of The Americas – his fifth in the series and the fourth for Blackdog Speed Shop drivers since 2013.
Aschenbach placed ninth in the second GTS race of the weekend at COTA in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Through 16 of 18 races, Aschenbach has a victory and 11 podium finishes in the first year with the Camaro GT4.R.
“I’m really pleased with another Pirelli World Challenge championship,” Aschenbach said. “Thanks to everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop and Chevrolet. The Camaro GT4.R has been a great car all year. The hard work and dedication of everyone at Chevrolet, Pratt & Miller and our teams have been vital to our success. To get this championship is a big thing, but we’re not done. We want to win the Manufacturer’s and Team championships, and hopefully we can take care of that at Sonoma.”
Chevrolet leads the Manufacturer’s Championship, as does Blackdog Speed Shop in the Team standings. The season closes in two weeks at Sonoma Raceway.
“Congratulations to Lawson on his fifth Driver’s Championship,” said Blackdog Speed Shop teammate Tony Gaples. “He’s been a great teammate over the years, and he’s more than deserving of this. We’ll go on to Sonoma and see if we can’t do the same for Chevrolet in the Manufacturer’s points and a team title for Blackdog Speed Shop.”
Sunday’s race saw both Camaro GT4.Rs work their way through the field after series officials deemed them to go below the pitlane blend line at the start of the race. Both Aschenbach and Gaples felt they were forced to go over the line to avoid collisions on the standing start.
Aschenbach gained back 10 spots and to finish ninth – where he started the race.
“I was disappointed with that call at the start,” Aschenbach said. “When you’re below someone and hit the blend line, I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do… slam on the brakes and stop or go back right and take out the whole field? At least we were able to climb back into the top-10 and salvage what we could. Despite that, I couldn’t be happier to clinch the championship today.”
Gaples, in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, began 18th and dropped back to 20th after his drive-through penalty. As in Saturday’s race, Gaples moved rapidly back through the field to finish 14th. Over the course of the two days, he gained 10 spots from his starting positions.
“I don’t agree with the penalty,” Gaples said. “I had a really good launch off the start in the Camaro and was in a good position until I was forced left by another car. It was either go over the line or wreck our car and a probably a few others on the first lap. I feel I made the right choice but obviously the stewards didn’t agree. After that, things were very similar to yesterday. It’s a shame that again I couldn’t take full advantage of a great handling Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R in the final results either day.
Blackdog Speed Shop closes the Pirelli World Challenge season at Sonoma Raceway on Sept. 15-17.
About Blackdog Speed Shop
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 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!