Aschenbach, Gaples aim to continue strong start to Camaro GT4.R era
LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois – With a trio of championship leads in hand, Blackdog Speed Shop travels north to historic Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Toronto this weekend for the third Pirelli World Challenge GTS event of the season.
The Blackdog squad leads the GTS Driver’s and Team championships, as does Chevrolet in the Manufacturer’s standings. Drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples hope to give Blackdog Speed Shop its first victory with the new Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
Doing so this weekend will come on one of the most daunting tracks in North America; CTMP is a demanding test of 2.459 miles featuring 10 turns and has played host to nearly every form of motorsport all the way up to Formula One.
“Canadian Tire Motorsport Park… now this is a track that gets you amped up to drive!” Aschenbach said. “It has an incredible amount of fast corners and elevation change. It’s the type of track where the Camaro GT4.R should excel. Hopefully we can have both Blackdog Speed Shop Camaros at the top end of the grid.”
Aschenbach, driver of the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4.R, is a two-time winner in class at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park including a GTS victory in the first of two races last season. He has four podium finishes in as many races this year with the Camaro GT4.R and leads the Driver’s Championship by 26 points.
Aschenbach opened the season with a pair of runner-up finishes at St. Petersburg and was third in both rounds at Virginia International Raceway last month.
“It’s a big deal to be leading the championship at any point in the season,” he said. “To be in this position with a new car like the Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R is a great feeling. The Blackdog Speed Shop guys are doing a tremendous job in getting our Camaros prepped and ready every weekend. Four podiums in the first two events of the year are testaments to that.”
Gaples was fifth and sixth at CTMP in World Challenge’s GT class for Blackdog Speed Shop in 2012; he was eighth in the second of two races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last year.
Gaples drove the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevy Camaro GT4.R to two seventh-place finishes at St. Petersburg. After missing the first VIR race, Gaples was steadily moving through the field in Race Two before being hit by an errant car near the halfway mark.
“After a tough weekend in Virginia, I’m really eager to get back to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park,” Gaples said. “It definitely is one of the highlights of our schedule every year. It has a lot of the same characteristics as VIR – fast and flowing corners, high speeds and big brake zones. The No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R felt really good at VIR so we have a good baseline setup for Canada. Hopefully we can rack up some good points for both Lawson and myself to maximize our points haul.”
The combination of Blackdog Speed Shop and the Camaro platform is a winning one in Pirelli World Challenge. Blackdog Speed Shop is the winningest team in PWC GTS competition with 18 victories. The team won three consecutive GTS Driver’s Championships – Aschenbach in 2013-14 and Michael Cooper in 2015 – as well as the 2013 GTS Team title during Blackdog Speed Shop’s first season in the category. Chevrolet was the Manufacturer’s Champion that season, as well.
The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will compete at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday through Sunday. Qualifying is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on Friday with the first of two races set for 10:35 a.m. ET on Saturday. GTS Race 2 is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Live race coverage will be available at World-Challenge.com. CBS Sports Network will air GTS action from CTMP at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 31.
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!