Team looking to bounce back in GTS title chase in Rose City
LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois – Blackdog Speed Shop is heading west for its return this weekend to one of the most well-known tracks in the northwestern United States. Portland International Raceway will play host to Pirelli World Challenge for the first time since 2005 as the series returns to its SprintX format for the Rose Cup Races weekend.
The reigning GTS championship-winning team will take its pair of Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs to the Pacific coast for the next-to-last SprintX weekend of the 2018 season.
The lineups in the two Camaros remain consistent since the start of the SprintX season. Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim will team in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, while Tony Gaples and Michael Cooper share the No. 11 Blackdog Camaro.
Only two Blackdog pilots – Pilgrim and Gaples – have raced at Portland. Pilgrim earned two top-10 finishes, including fourth in 2004 GT, and also raced a Corvette in ALMS there in 2001. Gaples’ lone World Challenge start came in 2005, also in a Corvette.
Portland is a critical event for the Blackdog Speed Shop program, which has three podium finishes in GTSX competition this year.
Aschenbach and Pilgrim stand fourth on the strength of a pair of third-place finishes at Virginia International Raceway and another at Lime Rock Park. Gaples and Cooper were third at Circuit of The Americas in the opening GTSX race of the year and are eighth in points – but just 15 out of the top-five. Blackdog Speed Shop is third in GTSX Team points
The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will compete at Portland from Friday-Sunday. Qualifying is set for 10:50 a.m. PT on Saturday with Race 1 at 4:40 p.m. PT later in the day. Race 2 is scheduled for 11:55 a.m. PT on Sunday. Live race coverage will be available at World-Challenge.com as well as SiriusXM Channel 383.
LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “I’m excited to go to Portland International Raceway. It’s one of the few tracks I haven’t been to throughout my career. I think it will be a tight battle because it is a relatively short track, you have the SprintX element and a lot of people are pushing for championships. Unfortunately we took a little bit of a hit at Road America. We never say never in this program and are clawing back however we can. I’m confident we’ll make up some ground with Andy and I. Hopefully we can get the Camaro back on the top step of the podium.”
ANDY PILGRIM, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “It’s been a long time since I raced at PIR but I love racing there, and Portland is such a great city. On a clear day you can see Mount Hood as you come down the back straight which is memorable. I imagine most people in World Challenge have not raced at PIR and would suggest they read ‘Festival Curves’ as ‘Fiasco Curves’ on the track map because that’s exactly what usually happens there! I’m hoping our Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4.R likes PIR as much as I do.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “It’s been 13 years since I’ve been to Portland International Raceway. I remember it being a pretty narrow track with not a lot of passing opportunities. We’ve seen so far this year that SprintX races can be unpredictable with a lot of contact. We will have to be mindful of that at Portland. After a good start in SprintX for me and Michael, I’m hoping we can get back on the right track at Portland.”
MICHAEL COOPER, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “The layout of PIR looks phenomenal, and there is a reason there are some big-time events on its schedule this year. It will be a new experience as I’ve never raced there. I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of our Camaro GT4.R to see what the track is all about. That’s always fun to see as a driver how quickly you can get a feel for the circuit and what it takes to go fast. It’s also nice to see more Camaros on our grid. It shows people are starting to catch on to what an incredible car that Pratt & Miller and Chevy Racing are building.”
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.