Pirelli World Challenge GTS titles in sight for Aschenbach, Blackdog, Chevrolet
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – It’s Championship Week for Blackdog Speed Shop as the Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS class closes its season with a doubleheader event this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fitting of a season finale, all three GTS points battles are in play with Blackdog Speed Shop in contention to land each.
Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples once again will drive the team’s pair of OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs in the pair of 50-minute races at the picturesque 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in Monterey, California. It provides two opportunities for the team to make a final push toward 2016 points championships.
Aschenbach enters Laguna Seca second in the Driver’s Championship but leads the class with four wins in 17 races. An Aschenbach title would give Blackdog Speed Shop a fourth consecutive GTS Driver’s Championship.
Blackdog also is solidly in contention for the GTS team title with the top-three squads within 12 points. It last won that in 2013.
Chevrolet also can win its second GTS Manufacturer’s title in four years.
“It has been a season of ups and downs for myself, Tony and everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop,” Aschenbach said. “Despite some difficulties, the Driver Championship is still within our reach. Both the Manufacturer and Team titles are still in play as well, and two solid showings by our OMP/Eibach Team Chevy Camaro Z/28.Rs would go a long way toward helping us reach those goals. We’re no strangers to coming back from championship deficits so we’ll be ready.
“I’ve had success at Laguna Seca in World Challenge and also in the Camaro,” the driver of the No. 10 OMP/Eibach Chevy Camaro Z/28.R added. “It’s a very low-grip circuit and mostly medium- and slow-speed corners. It will be important to get our Camaros to work mechanically to optimize our braking and cornering abilities.”
Gaples is looking to close out the season on a strong note, as well. Driving the No. 11 OMP/Eibach Chevy Camaro Z/28.R, Gaples is eighth in GTS points with eight top-10 finishes including both rounds at Sonoma.
There, Gaples was among the fastest drivers in the two practice sessions and turned many heads in the class.
“Laguna Seca is another great track on the GTS schedule, and it’s very appropriate to end our season in Monterey,” he said. “Personally, it’s been tough and frustrating at times in our OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R. In many races we haven’t been able to compete with some of the newer cars. In others we haven’t been able to translate our outright pace from practices to the races. We have one more chance to figure that out. It would be a great way to close this season.”
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 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca starting with the first practice sessions Friday. Qualifying is set for 9 a.m. PT on Saturday with the first of two races set for 1:55 p.m. PT later in the day. Race 2 – the final round of 2016 – is scheduled for 10:50 a.m. PT on Sunday.
Live race coverage from Sonoma Raceway will be available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/. CBS Sports Network will air GTS action at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 23.
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!