Aschenbach, Pilgrim on podium; Gaples, Cooper drive to fourth from 17th
PORTLAND – Blackdog Speed Shop finished third and fourth Saturday as Pirelli World Challenge returned to Portland International Raceway for the first time in 13 years for the Rose Cup Weekend.
Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim scored their fourth podium finish of the season in GTS SprintX competition this season with a third-place showing in their No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Teammates Tony Gaples and Michael Cooper finished one spot behind in fourth with their No. 11 Blackdog Camaro.
The combined results were the best for the Blackdog Speed Shop crew this season in SprintX. Aschenbach and Pilgrim now have three podium finishes to their credit (they had two at VIR), and Gaples and Cooper have two podiums.
Pilgrim started sixth and Gaples 17th as Portland’s Festival Curves lived up to its name in the first half of the race. The duo was able to navigate through two incidents and a full-course caution in the first 30 minutes. The mandatory pit window opened shortly thereafter with Pilgrim 10th and Gaples 14th.
A pair of stellar pit stops by the Blackdog Speed Shop crew put Aschenbach and Cooper in podium position as the pit window closed with 20 minutes left. Once all stops were complete, Aschenbach ran third and Cooper fourth. The duo ran solid and consistent laps but ultimately couldn’t match the pace of the two lead cars.
The Blackdog Speed Shop Camaros will have another crack at PIR with the second one-hour GTSX race set for 11:55 a.m. PT on Sunday. Live race coverage will be available at World-ChallengeTV.com as well as SiriusXM Channel 383.
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “That’s more like it. After Road America, everyone on this program really wanted to get back on the right track. I feel like we’ve done that the last couple days. Andy did a great job in qualifying and managing a hectic start. And I can’t say enough about the pit work by our crew. It was a mega job and really pumped me up leaving the pitlane. From that point, we knew we couldn’t match the pace of the two leaders. I did the best job I could to get as much out of the car as I could. We have another good starting spot tomorrow so let’s see what we can get from it.”
ANDY PILGRIM, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “Third is a decent result today. There was so much going on at the start. In a lot of ways it was better to be safe than sorry. The Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro was great throughout. The pit stop was just awesome by our crew, and that was a big part of how we were able to get back on the podium. And of course Lawson did his usual fantastic job. If we had a little more pace, maybe we could have contended for a win. But all in all we can be happy with third place.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “We ran according to our plan today. Like Andy said, the first couple of laps were pretty wild with cars going off and around. We both had a couple of close calls but managed to get our Blackdog Speed Shop Camaros through. My car felt really solid today, and Michael’s performance backed that up. Thanks to him and our pit crew for helping us get up the order. Hopefully we can finish a few spots higher tomorrow.”
MICHAEL COOPER, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “So close to another podium finish. But I think Tony and I can be happy with our result, all things considered. We would have liked to contend for a win but just didn’t have enough. Tony had a really good run early in his stint to move up a handful of spots before the caution. We got a great stop by our Blackdog Speed Shop crew to come out in the top-five. Another yellow would have been nice to bunch the field up and give us a chance. Still, it’s a good showing and good points for both cars. We should be in great shape to do it again Sunday.”
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: 25 – Most in class history
Chevrolet in Pirelli World Challenge
• Chevrolet Camaro second all-time in PWC victories by model (53).
• Chevrolet first all-time in PWC victories by brand (127)
• General Motors first all-time in PWC victories by manufacturer (190)
• Chevrolet five Manufacturer Championships (1990-91, 1994, 2013, 2017)