Final rounds as Blackdog squad makes first start at WGI since 2010
LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois – Blackdog Speed Shop’s 2018 season comes to a close this weekend as the team and the Pirelli World Challenge returns to Watkins Glen International for the first time in nearly a decade.
The Grand Prix of Watkins Glen weekend includes the final two Sprint events for the GTS class and, by extension, Blackdog Speed Shop’s Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples. The duo hope to send the team’s two Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs into the offseason on a winning note. Doing so will help optimize the program’s final championship standings.
Aschenbach, defending GTS Champion and pilot of the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4.R, aims to win his fifth and sixth Sprint races this season. Meanwhile, Gaples will try to improve on a pair of third-place GTSA podium finishes from earlier this year.
Aschenbach won doubleheaders at both St. Petersburg and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park but didn’t record any points on the Road America weekend in late June to fall back in the championship. He will arrive at the historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit second in the championship and 21 points from first place. There are 51 points available on the weekend.
Gaples, driver of the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro, is second in the overall GTSA Championship – a combination of the GTS Sprint and SprintX seasons. He remains in the running for both titles heading into the season’s final weekend. He is 26 points back in the season-long standings and is third in Sprint points with 22 points to first place.
In the Team standings, Blackdog Speed Shop is second in GTS Sprint points with only seven points to the leader. Chevrolet is second in GTS Manufacturer points and is eight points back.
This is the first time Blackdog Speed Shop has raced at Watkins Glen since 2010, when Gaples recorded an eighth-place finish in a GT-class Corvette. Aschenbach has a bit more experience at the Glen including a runner-up GT finish in 2007.
The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will compete at Watkins Glen International from Friday-Sunday. Qualifying is set for 10:50 a.m. ET on Saturday with Race 1 at 4:10 p.m. ET later in the day. Race 2 is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. ET on Sunday. Live race coverage will be available at World-ChallengeTV.comas well as SiriusXM Channel 383.
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“There is plenty to race for this weekend for us at Watkins Glen. We still have hopes for Driver, Team and Manufacturer championships in the Sprint category. I think we have the best team and best car in this category, so we’re deserving of another championship. It’s a shame that one weekend may end up determining our season. But that’s racing. To have the chance to win one at Watkins Glen is very fitting. It’s a track where I’ve had a lot of experience and success. It’ll be great to take our Team Chevy Camaros there to go for another title.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“It’s been way too long since we have raced at Watkins Glen. Just mentioning the name brings up many of racing’s best names and moments. I hope we can create a couple of our own this weekend. Winning one or both races would be a great start. I think it’s possible. Our Camaro GT4.R has driven really well the last couple of events, and Watkins Glen should be a good track for us with some corners and braking zones where the Camaro usually excels. We’ll give it our best shot.”
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)