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Second Straight Podium for Aschenbach, Pilgrim in Blackdog Speed Shop Camaros

Strong starts lead to top-five finishes for both Camaro GT4.Rs

ALTON, Va. (April 29, 2018) – Blackdog Speed Shop rolled to a pair of top-five finishes Sunday in the second of two GTS SprintX races for the Pirelli World Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.

Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim claimed a third-place podium finish in their No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro for the second day in a row to lead a solid points day for the two Blackdog entries.

Tony Gaples and Michael Cooper placed fifth in the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R for the team’s second double top-five of the season – the first coming at St. Petersburg to open the year. It puts the team in good championship position heading into back-to-back events next month starting at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Both Blackdog Camaros moved forward early. Aschenbach jumped ahead a spot on the opening lap while Cooper gained four positions before an opening-lap caution period. The pairing continued their march forward up to the opening of the window for the race’s mandatory pit stop.

Cooper dove in first with 30 minutes remaining from fifth place, and Gaples cycled back through to the same position once the pit window closed at 25 minutes. He drove a solid final stint but couldn’t overcome the Camaro’s performance gap to the other lead GTS competitors to gain additional spots.

Aschenbach came in a lap later than Cooper and handed off to Pilgrim, who re-entered in second. The former World Challenge champion pressed and pushed with all his Camaro GT4.R had but met a similar fate as Gaples at the end, which came early courtesy of another full-course caution.

The next event for Blackdog Speed Shop is a GTS Sprint weekend May 18-20 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

LAWSON ASCHENBACH, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “In all honesty, I feel like we overachieved this weekend. We don’t quite have the pace to run with some of the other cars in this category. Our Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R ran and handled really well… almost flawlessly from the first session. That’s down to the team at Blackdog Speed Shop and the work from everyone at Team Chevy. We got everything we could out this weekend and a little bit more. To come out of here with two third-place finishes with the way things went down, I’m pretty pleased. We can build on this going toward the next couple events and get back in a good spot in the championship.”

ANDY PILGRIM, NO. 1 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “Any event where you can earn two podiums and were never really anywhere near the top of the timesheets, that’s a great weekend. The Blackdog Speed Shop team did a fantastic job to prepare our Chevrolet Camaro GT4.Rs The chassis and car setup was as good as we could get it. So we have a lot to be proud of from the weekend. Hopefully we can keep this going throughout the rest of the season.”

TONY GAPLES, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “We’ll take a top-five finish to close out the weekend. Michael did a great job early on to move up four or five spots before the early yellow. But again we got to a point where we didn’t have the performance we needed to gain or even hold our position after the pit stop. The Camaro GT4.R was really solid, and there isn’t much else I could ask for from it. In the end, it’s another top-five finish where we started outside the top-10. That’s not much to be disappointed about.”

MICHAEL COOPER, NO. 11 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “We had a really good start to get up to sixth, so we gained a lot of spots. From that point on, we held station and ran nose-to-tail with Lawson. On the pit stop, we tried a little different strategy to come in a little sooner than planned; we didn’t really gain or lose anything so that was OK in the end. Ending the weekend with a third and fifth for the Blackdog Speed Shop Camaros is pretty satisfying.”

Article by Blackdog Speed Shop

Photos by Richard Prince

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