Gaples fourth in GTSA for solid start at home track for Blackdog Speed Shop
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – Blackdog Speed Shop delighted its many guests at Road America on Saturday in the first of two GTS races for the Pirelli World Challenge. Lawson Aschenbach placed second in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R to extend his Driver’s Championship lead after nine races.
Tony Gaples, in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, also retained his GTSA Driver’s Championship lead with a fourth-place class finish. The Lincolnshire, Illinois-based team also retained its advantage in the GTS and GTSA Team standings, as did Chevrolet in Manufacturer’s points.
Aschenbach posted his fifth runner-up finish of the season and eighth podium in ninth races. He began fifth Saturday but picked up two positions by the end of the first lap around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit. Two laps later, he vaulted up to second and held the position for the final 42 minutes in a tight battle.
Multiple times, the four-time World Challenge champion had to use his moxie and racecraft to repel a repeated challenge from eventual third-place finisher Jeff Courtney to finish ahead by just 0.174 seconds.
“That was a pretty intense fight,” Aschenbach said. “I’m happy with second place and good points for everyone here at Blackdog Speed Shop. It’s a big weekend for our team with so many guests here, so delivering for them is important. Our Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R was strong all race. I was able to gain three spots early, and managed to hold on to that spot for the rest of the race. We can come away happy with the result, and are looking forward to starting fourth tomorrow. Hopefully we can come away with that elusive first win of the season, and for the Camaro GT4.R.”
Gaples began 17th and steadily worked his way up through the field. He was 15th after two laps and move up to 12th after the 12th lap. Gaples moved into the top-10 with 15 minutes left.
“First off, it’s a real thrill to drive the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R around Road America,” Gaples said. “It has loads of performance, and we’re continuing to push to its limits. I’m glad we were able to give our Blackdog Speed Shop family and fans a good show today. Overall it was a decent run. I didn’t get the start I wanted but stayed with it and moved into the top-10 before traffic and the high-horsepower cars started coming through at the end. Instead of fighting aggressively and risking a big incident, it was better to save the car for tomorrow. I’m confident we can build on this for Sunday’s race.”
Sunday’s second GTS race of the weekend is set for 2:45 p.m. CT. Aschenbach will start fourth based on Saturday’s fastest race laps, and Gaples will roll off 17th.
Live race coverage from Road America available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/. CBS Sports Network will air GTS action from Lime Rock at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 5.
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!