Closest Pirelli World Challenge race to home base for Chicago-based squad
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – In road-racing circles, there aren’t many names more sacred than Road America. It’s there where Blackdog Speed Shop hopes to continue its march to a fourth consecutive GTS Driver’s Championship in the Pirelli World Challenge.
Count Blackdog drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples among the many drivers who can’t get enough of racing at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. It’s only a couple of hours from Blackdog Speed Shop’s home base near Chicago, which is of many plusses.
“It doesn’t get any better than Road America,” said Aschenbach, who has two victories this season and holds the class Driver’s Championship lead. Blackdog Speed Shop also leads the GTS Team standings, and the performance of the two OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs has Chevrolet leading the class Manufacturer Championship.
“It’s one of the classic American road courses and one where every driver wants to take a victory at least once in their career,” said Aschenbach, driver of the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R. “I’ve been fortunate enough to win at Elkhart Lake in a Chevy Camaro. I can tell you it’s an incredible feeling and one that I hope I can have again this weekend. We will have our work cut out for us with the number of long straights there. We’ve proven this year that this Blackdog Speed Shop team can overcome challenges, and Road America has plenty of them. I can’t wait to get back there.”
The World Challenge series has raced the last two seasons at Road America in June. Last year, Michael Cooper led the most laps in the first of a doubleheader. In 2004, Aschenbach finished fifth and sixth on his way to his second straight GTS championship in a Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro.
Gaples drives the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Eibach/OMP Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R and has a solid record at Road America with a ninth-place finish in class in 2014 and 10th in the GT class during the 2009 season.
Gaples is looking to improve on his eighth place standings in the GTS Driver’s Championship. He has upheld his reputation as one of the best drivers off the line in GTS with three consecutive Best Standing Start awards – St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“If there are drivers who don’t enjoy Road America, then I haven’t met them!” Gaples said. “It has everything you want in a track – long straights, fast corners and a ton of elevation changes. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks anywhere in North America. It doesn’t hurt that it’s close to home for us, so that’s a nice feeling. Our Blackdog Speed Shop OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs are well-rested – and well-sorted – since our last race at Lime Rock. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and scoring more points and getting us that much closer to another GTS title.”
For the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season, Blackdog Speed Shop is proud of the support from its partners OMP, Eibach and Team Chevy.
The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will compete at Road America Friday through Sunday. Qualifying is set for 5:15 p.m. ET on Friday with the first of two races set for 5:45 p.m. ET on Saturday. Race 2 is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Live race coverage from Road America available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/. CBS Sports Network will air GTS action from Lime Rock at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 7.
About Blackdog Speed Shop
Blackdog Speed Shop builds more than just racecars. Whether you race competitively, attend the occasional track day 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!