Blackdog Speed Shop Set to Defend Pirelli World Challenge GTS Titles
Gaples, Aschenbach return in second year of Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R
LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois – Blackdog Speed Shop confirmed its program today for the upcoming Pirelli World Challenge GTS Sprint season with Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples returning in the team’s pair of Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R race cars. The team goes into the season with the goal of repeating as GTS Sprint Manufacturer, Driver and Team Champion.
Aschenbach will pilot the No. 1 Camaro GT4.R and Gaples will drive his familiar No. 11 Camaro GT4.R. Both will carry the immensely popular Blackdog Speed Shop livery, starting with the GTS Sprint season opener at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix on March 9-11 – one of four events in 2018 that feature a pair of single-driver, 50-minute races for GT4-homologated cars.
Aschenbach, from West Palm Beach, Fla., won his third World Challenge GTS Driver Championship in 2017 on the strength of two victories and 12 podium finishes in 18 races. For his career, Aschenbach is tied for fourth in PWC career victories (24) and fourth in podiums (72). He is tied for second in all-time PWC championships with five.
Gaples is third in all-time series starts with 185. The veteran from Lincolnshire, Ill., ended the 2017 season with his first career victory at Sonoma, and he added seven additional podium finishes on his way to a runner-up championship finish. Gaples is one of the championship’s most recognizable faces having been part of World Challenge since the 2002 season.
The Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R is built to global GT4 regulations, which govern the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class.
Based on the road-going Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Camaro GT4.R features a 6.2-liter, Chevrolet small block V8 that was developed and validated by Chevy 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.
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “I’m very optimistic about the potential of our Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R going into another season with Blackdog Speed Shop. I feel that we have the best team working on the best car in our class. Through the years, this program has proven itself as a consistent championship contender in World Challenge, and I’m honored to be a part of it. With partners like Blackdog Speed Shop, Chevrolet Racing, and Pratt & Miller, there is no doubt that we can compete for more race victories and titles in 2018.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “I’m looking forward to another season of racing our Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R and teaming again with Lawson in our Blackdog Speed Shop entries. Sprint racing is why I got into the sport, and I’m looking forward to starting the season again in St. Petersburg. Our goals are simple: repeat as GTS Manufacturer, Driver and Team champions. There are a lot of new manufacturers and drivers coming into this championship, but I feel we have the best and most experienced operation in all of Pirelli World Challenge.”
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!