Solid drives forward for two-time GTS champ and teammate Gaples at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Blackdog Speed Shop drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples made the most of their Sunday at Road America with a pair of strong drives in the second Pirelli World Challenge GTS race of the weekend.
Aschenbach finished seventh and Gaples 11th in their OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course. Given the performance deficits on the track’s three long straights and their starting positions from the back of the grid, the results were more than acceptable.
Aschenbach, in the No. 10 OMP/Eibach Camaro, made up 11 positions after starting 18th. The four-time World Challenge champion advanced an eye-popping nine positions on the opening lap following a rear suspension failure at the start of Saturday’s opening race. He was unable to complete a full lap at speed and had to start at the back of the grid Sunday.
His early-race efforts in Race 2 gave him his first Optima Standing Start award of the season – an award Gaples won three times earlier in the season.
“Wow… that was definitely some of the hardest driving I’ve had to do in a while,” Aschenbach said. “Yesterday really put us in a tough spot but I’m proud of the job the Blackdog Speed Shop crew got the No. 10 OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R ready for today. From the beginning the car felt good under me and I knew I could be aggressive to make up positions. I followed Tony at the start, and he helped create a nice path for both of us. I didn’t expect to make up that many on the first lap but it shows the job our guys did after the first race. Still, it was pretty apparent from the lap times that we were at a pretty hefty performance disadvantage. The great thing is that the Blackdog Speed Shop team left it all out there, and we scored about as many points as we could have hoped.”
Gaples and the No. 11 OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R got off to a similarly strong start Sunday from the 16th position. He picked up three spots on the first lap, and stayed smooth and consistent on a day where numerous competitors had issues. It was similar to how Saturday’s race played out, and Gaples’ clean run paid off.
“It’s always enjoyable to race at Road America,” he said. “I wish we had more speed and a little better performance for everyone who came out to see us. But from where we started, 11th wasn’t too bad. Maybe a yellow could have helped me pick up another position to get into the top-10, but overall my OMP/Eibach Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R was pretty good. It was great seeing Lawson carve his way through the field on that opening lap. We have two solid race cars and I think we’re in good shape heading into the last four races of the season.”
There are four events left in the Pirelli World Challenge season with Blackdog Speed Shop seeking a fourth GTS Driver’s Championship. The next stop for the GTS class is Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 28-30.
CBS Sports Network will air GTS action from Road America at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 7.
For the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season, Blackdog Speed Shop is proud of the support from its partners OMP, Eibach and Team Chevy.
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!