LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois (August 9, 2018) – The curtain falls this weekend on the first season of SprintX competition for Blackdog Speed Shop in the Pirelli World Challenge. The two-car team heads to Utah Motorsports Campus this weekend for the final GTSX event of the season with championship hopes still alive.
The reigning GTS championship-winning program will seek to add to its tally of four podiums and earn an elusive victory between its Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R drivers. Each member of the competitive quartet – Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4.R along with Tony Gaples and Michael Cooper in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro – have at least one podium finish to their credit in SprintX this year.
Cooper and Gaples got it started with a third-place finish at Circuit of The Americas to start the season. Meanwhile, Aschenbach and Pilgrim podiumed at both VIR races as well as the first of two races at Portland.The Aschenbach/Pilgrim pairing remains alive for the GTSX Driver’s Championship but needs some help with a 32-point deficit. However, the duo is just seven points out of second place. Likewise, Gaples and Cooper can find their way into the final top-five standings with a solid weekend; they currently are 10 points out of fifth.
Blackdog Speed Shop’s first win at Utah since 2015 would go a long way in helping the team move from second to first in the Team Championship standings, as well. Cooper won in GTS in 2015 in a Blackdog Camaro – one of his two victories at the circuit.
Pilgrim has finished on the podium twice in GT competition, and Aschenbach was a GTS runner-up in 2014. Gaples also has raced both GT and GTS cars at Utah with one podium and seven top-10 finishes at the circuit.
The Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will compete at Utah Motorsports Campus from Friday-Sunday. Qualifying is set for 9:10 a.m. MT on Saturday with Race 1 at 1:10 p.m. MT later in the day. Race 2 is scheduled for 11 a.m. MT 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: “Everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop is eager for a win to close out the SprintX Championship this season. Week in and week out, we’ve nailed it on strategy and execution. We just haven’t had the outright pace to be fully competitive. Utah will be a challenge for us and our Camaro GT4.Rs but it’s one we always embrace. We’ll go out and give it our best, as we always do.”
ANDY PILGRIM, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R:“I’ve really enjoyed running with Blackdog Speed Shop and learning the Camaro GT4.R this year. It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the last two races. But we’re closing it at one of the finest facilities on the PWC schedule. I’ve won races previously at Utah and we’ll need more podium finishes this weekend. We have the team and the car. We just need a little bit of good fortune.”
TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “The SprintX season has been an interesting one, to say the least. We’ve seen good races and not so good ones. My hope is that we end with our two best races this weekend at Utah. Typically it hasn’t been our best tracks but we can change that with a good showing this weekend.”
MICHAEL COOPER, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “It’s been great to be back with Blackdog Speed Shop. The Camaro GT4.R is a great car and I’ve had a blast driving it. The only thing better would be for Tony and me to take it to a SprintX win. Utah has been good to me and it’s a track I enjoy. You need a car that does everything well, and I believe we have that with our Camaro GT4.Rs.”
About 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)