SONOMA, California (Sept. 17, 2017) – Blackdog Speed Shop closed the Pirelli World Challenge season with two GTS victories Sunday at Sonoma Raceway as it completed a sweep of the category’s major points titles. Lawson Aschenbach claimed his second victory of the year, and Tony Gaples won in GTSA in the pair of Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs.
The results also gave Chevrolet the GTS Manufacturer’s title for the second time in five years.
It came a day after Blackdog Speed Shop clinched the Team points title and two weeks after Lawson Aschenbach won his fifth World Challenge Driver’s title and third in GTS. The championship sweep is the second for the team since 2013.
“Big thanks to everyone at Chevrolet, Pratt & Miller and Blackdog Speed Shop,” Aschenbach said. “This was a huge undertaking to do this program this year. To come in and sweep the Manufacturer’s, Team and Driver’s championships in the first year is a dream come true. I can’t say thanks enough for all the support we’ve gotten with this program.”
Aschenbach, in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, started third and moved to second right away off the standing start. The top five cars ran within five seconds of each other for the first 17 minutes before the first of two full-course yellows. On the ensuing restart, Aschenbach stuffed the No. 10 Camaro on the inside of the race leader going into the first corner and made it stick.
“What a race!” Aschenbach exclaimed. “Yesterday we struggled… I’m not going to lie. I knew we were going to need a caution today. Fortunately, we got one early and I was able to cool my tires down. At that point, I knew I had one shot and that was going to be on the restart. I cleaned my tires off a little better, stuck in there and went for it. I wasn’t turning back at that point. I’m really happy with the win and glad we were able to hold on.”
Gaples’ first victory in Pirelli World Challenge came at a heavy cost as he was sent off-track going through the fast Esses section while leading the GTSA category in his No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. He suffered heavy contact in the outside retaining wall, which destroyed the Camaro. Gaples was able to exit the car under his own power – a testament to the strength of the Camaro chassis.
“That certainly wasn’t the way I thought the race would end,” said Gaples, who finished second in the GTSA Driver’s Championship with his victory. “I’m pretty sore and banged up but OK in the grand scheme of things. I don’t understand what the other car was thinking; you can’t pass going through there at speed. I’m thankful for the solid construction and safety aspects of the Camaro GT4.R. I’m already looking forward to being back for the start of next year. Congratulations to Lawson on the win today and Chevy for the Manufacturer’s Championship.”
Said Aschenbach: “I have to thank Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller for building a such a strong race car. I’m happy Tony is OK. He’s not just a teammate; he’s one of my best friends, and I’m really proud to be a part of his program. Without him, none of us would be able to do this.”
CBS Sports Network will air GTS action from Sonoma at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
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!