Maintaining GTS championship leads is the focus for Aschenbach, Gaples
LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois – Blackdog Speed Shop faces another significant challenge this weekend as Tony Gaples and Lawson Aschenbach head to Utah Motorsports Campus for another doubleheader weekend in the Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS category.
Currently leading the GTS Driver’s, Team and Manufacturer’s Championships with three events to go, the Blackdog Speed Shop team will go for its second victory at the 3.048-mile, 14-turn road course outside of Salt Lake City. The desert heat and nature of the circuit will present the team a stern challenge with its pair of Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs.
After scoring a victory in the last World Challenge weekend at Mid-Ohio, the Blackdog Camaros have had their power level adjusted by 3 mm on the Chevrolet V8 engines for this weekend’s race. Add that with the Camaro GT4.R being one of the heavier cars on the entry, and it will make keeping momentum around the circuit difficult to say the least.
Nevertheless, Blackdog Speed Shop comes in with a can-do attitude. It’s the same mindset that has resulted in 11 podium finishes out of 12 races for Aschenbach as well as an 87-point lead in the GTS Driver’s standings. Gaples also is well within reach of the GTSA points lead, and Chevrolet holds the GTS Manufacturer’s points lead.
“It’s getting down to crunch time in the GTS championship,” said Aschenbach, driver of the Blackdog Speed Shop No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R that finished first and second in the Mid-Ohio doubleheader. “A lot can happen over these next three events, starting at Utah. Typically it’s been a tough track for us; it’s a unique layout with a huge number of slow- and mid-speed corners with the longest straightaway on our calendar. That plus a reduction in power will make it difficult for our Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs to match the lap time of our competitors. Having said that, Tony and I know we have the best crew and engineers in the class at Blackdog Speed Shop. These guys can do amazing things and I know we’ll give it our best shot.”
Gaples and Aschenbach posted a pair of top-10 GTS finishes at Utah in 2016. Gaples is coming off a runner-up finish in the second GTSA race at Mid-Ohio.
“This weekend’s race at Utah is going to be tough – there are no two ways about it,” said Gaples, who drives the No. 11 Chevy Camaro GT4.R. “We don’t expect to have the performance to challenge the front-runners in our class. So that means you look at other ways to give yourself the best chance to make up as many points as possible. Utah is a long lap with a lot of corners and sand, so the best approach for us may be to get the handling on our Camaro GT4.R right and hope we can move up through attrition and the mistakes of others. It’ll be difficult but we’ve learned to fight through adversity at Blackdog Speed Shop this year. We’re ready to do it again!”
The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will compete at Utah Motorsports Campus from Friday through Sunday. Qualifying is set for 9:20 a.m. MT on Saturday with the first of two races set for later in the day at 3:10 p.m. Race 2 is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. MT on Sunday.
Live race coverage from Utah will be available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/. CBS Sports Network will air GTS action at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
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!