Connect with us

GT America

Blackdog Speed Shop Returns With Gaples in Camaro GT4.R

Veteran World Challenge/SRO America competitor to make series comeback in Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R…

Photo: Blackdog Speed Shop

One of the most successful teams in North America sprint-style sports car racing is back on the track as Blackdog Speed Shop has announced its to competition as part of the field in GT America Powered by AWS.

Tony Gaples, a veteran of more than 20 years in the series formerly known as World Challenge, will pilot the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R for the full season – his first championship run since the 2020 Pirelli GT4 America Sprint season.

With 225 starts in World Challenge/SRO America competition, Gaples is one of three drivers in series history with more than 200 career appearances.

The vast majority have come in a single-driver format – mirroring the 40-minute sprint contests that make up the 18-round GT America season.

No team in the series has more GT4/GTS class wins than Blackdog’s 41, dating back to 2013. The program is going for its sixth Driver’s championship and fifth team crown in 2023.

Gaples will be part of the GT4 category in GT America, which also includes categories for GT3- and GT2-spec race cars.

“It’s good to be back and getting ready for a new season and a new challenge,” he said. “GT America calls back to what I consider one of the best times in racing with single-driver, sprint races in World Challenge.

“I’ve followed the series and SRO America in the last couple of years and have seen the level of competition grow in the GT4 ranks.

“I’m excited to jump back in with our Chevy Camaro GT4.R, a car that I feel very comfortable driving. It’s a solid, reliable package that gives us a great chance for success in a tough category. I can’t wait to get started.”

The return of Blackdog Speed Shop and Gaples to SRO America competition takes place this weekend at St. Pete, which will see a total of 23 cars entered across the SRO3 and GT4 classes.

“We’re all looking forward to getting back to the racetrack and doing what we love,” said team manager Ray Sorenson. “This is a great program for Tony and everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop.

“We have a talented team, a great driver and friend in Tony, plus a great car in the Camaro GT4.R.

“In a lot of ways, this is like coming back home.

“Over the years, our team has had a knack of producing race- and championship-winning efforts in this sprint format. With the people we have in place and our trusted Camaro, there’s not a reason we can’t do the same again.”

The latest sports car racing news from trusted series, manufacturer and team sources based around the world.

Click to comment

More in GT America