Strong runs from deep in the field for Camaro GT4.R quartet
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – A pair of top-10 finishes Park left Blackdog Speed Shop in good spirits Monday following the second of two GTS SprintX races at Lime Rock for the Pirelli World Challenge. Both of the team’s Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs made tremendous progress from deep in the field to end Memorial Day on a high note.
Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim placed third in their class and fifth overall in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4.R, while Michael Cooper and Tony Gaples made up more ground than any entry in the race with a 10th-place overall finish – after starting 25th – in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro. They earned the race’s Hard Charger award for their efforts.
The results were enough to move Aschenbach and Pilgrim to third in SprintX points with Gaples and Cooper tied for fifth after six GTSX races.
Aschenbach and Cooper started, and unlike the morning race both Camaros made it through the start unscathed. The duo took advantage as Aschenbach moved up five spots and Cooper gained nine positions to 16th as the race went yellow on the opening lap.
It took 27 minutes for the race to resume, but when it did the Camaros kept up their charge. By the halfway mark, Cooper ran 11th and Aschenbach 12th as the pit window opened for the race’s mandatory driver change. Aschenbach ducked in from seventh with 23 minutes left and handed off to Pilgrim. Cooper came in two laps later from fourth for the change to Gaples.
Once the pit window closed with 20 minutes remaining, Pilgrim cycled through to ninth and Gaples to 11th. The team’s progression wasn’t done. Pilgrim gained three spots to sixth when a trio of cars ahead of him went off-track. Gaples also gained a spot late with a nifty move out of the famed Uphill corner.
Blackdog Speed Shop’s next race is set for June 22-24 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “Fifth this afternoon almost feels like a win. We struggled for pace most of the weekend, so to come away with a top-five finish is huge. This came down to a great effort by everyone today – Blackdog Speed Shop, my teammate Andy, Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller. We faced some pretty tough adversity and didn’t blink at all. The long yellow early was really frustrating so I had to be aggressive in the time we had under green. I had Michael with me for most of the stint and we were able to carve our way through the field. So I’m pleased with how we ended up and with a good points haul this afternoon.”
ANDY PILGRIM, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “What a fantastic effort by everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop this afternoon. It’s great to come away with a top-five finish after the weekend we had and shows the character of this program. Lawson did a great job getting us track position with his charge in a limited amount of time, and the team was great on the pit stop. When I got back in the Camaro, it felt pretty good despite the damage from this morning. I was hoping to pressure some of the cars in front of us and fortunately was able gain a handful of spots late. So it’s a good way to end the weekend. I’m already looking forward to getting back in the GT4.R at Portland.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “This afternoon was much more enjoyable, and everyone on the team did a great job to get both our Camaros into the top-10. Michael was phenomenal at the start and gained so many positions before the pit stop. It was gratifying to be able to bring our Camaro back with a decent points result on a day where so many other cars had trouble. We’ll move on and get ready for Road America – my favorite race of the year.”
MICHAEL COOPER NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “We were able to salvage a top-10 finish for our No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Team Chevy Camaro. After a tough race this morning, I was able to make some really aggressive moves in the first couple of laps and get up to 12th. It was a good fight with Lawson up to the pit stops. Tony did a great job bringing the car home 10th. So overall, it was a good day for Blackdog Speed Shop and Team Chevy.”
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: 21 – Most in class history
Chevrolet in Pirelli World Challenge
•Chevrolet Camaro second all-time in PWC victories by model (51).
•Chevrolet first all-time in PWC victories by brand (125)
•General Motors first all-time in PWC victories by manufacturer (188)
•Chevrolet five Manufacturer Championships (1990-91, 1994, 2013, 2017)