Racing hasn’t started at Watkins Glen quite yet, but already Blackdog Speed Shop can claim a victory.
The team completed a massive rebuild of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R following the most recent Pirelli World Challenge round at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Andy Pilgrim hit a spinning car with 15 minutes remaining in the second Utah GTS SprintX race. The impact at the left-front of the Camaro sent Pilgrim airborne and took he and Lawson Aschenbach out of the race. It also sent the Camaro back to the team’s home base in Illinois damaged and in pieces.
Faced with so much work and not much time to get Aschenbach’s championship-contending Camaro GT4 repaired for this weekend’s doubleheader at Watkins Glen, the team enlisted the help of a neighbor: Greg Turley and Bull Valley Auto Body in McHenry, Ill..
“I wasn’t sure we could fix it until the guys took the cradles out and the new ones went right in,” said team manager Ray Sorenson. “Marc (Engberg, No. 1 Camaro chief mechanic) hustled the rig and car back from Utah to give us a head start.
“He and Shawn (Warnke, No. 11 Camaro chief mechanic) started going through all the suspension and driveline while we waited for the quarter panels to arrive.
“From there I knew it would be up to the guys at Bull Valley if they could get it all together. The guys worked 11 days straight on it with a couple nights past 1 a.m. I can’t say enough about everyone’s effort.”
The catalogue of repairs and replacements is mind-blowing, according to Sorenson.
“We had to replace the transmission, differential, driveshaft, steering rack, all four shocks, and every suspension part from front to rear including both front and rear cradles, and all the hardware,” he said.
“We pulled back the chassis and cut off both rear quarter panels and replaced them. We also pulled down the right-front shock tower back into place and replaced both front fenders and the left side door as well.
“My thanks to Greg and his crew at Bull Valley, who put forth an amazing overtime effort to get us back on track for this weekend.
“Greg has always bailed us out of these situations and this one took an enormous amount of effort to complete in time.”