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Pirelli GT4 America

Blackdog Confirms Return With McLaren GT4s

Blackdog Speed Shop returns to SRO America competition with unchanged lineup…

Photo: Blackdog Speed Shop

Tony Gaples and Michael Cooper will return to the cockpit of Blackdog Speed Shop’s two McLaren 570S GT4s in Pirelli GT4 America Sprint this year.

The Chicago area-based squad will look to improve on its second place championship finish last year.

The team scored four victories, helped McLaren to the GT4 manufacturer’s championship, and recorded runner-up driver’s championship finishes for Cooper – second overall – and Gaples – second in GT4 Am.

During the off-season, the Blackdog team has undertaken the task of tearing down the McLarens and freshly rebuilt them ahead of COTA.

Last season’s results bolstered Blackdog Speed Shop as the most successful team in GTS/GT4 competition in the series formerly known as Pirelli World Challenge.

It has claimed 29 race victories, two team championships, four driver’s championships and contributed to three Manufacturer’s titles to date.

“Running the mid-engine McLaren for the first time last year was a new challenge which was very rewarding,” Cooper said. “Blackdog Speed Shop did a great job with a new and unfamiliar car.

“How quickly the team was able to get on top of the new platform and run at the front shows the level of talent within both the Blackdog organization and McLaren Automotive.”

Gaples added: “Last year was a new experience for all of us with the McLaren GT4. Toward the end of the year, I feel like we made good progress learning the cars.

“Now that we have had the chance to study them during the last couple months, we should be much better prepared to start the season than a year ago.”

Gaples has been a fixture in World Challenge and is one of only three drivers to record more than 200 starts in the series. Cooper returns as a McLaren Automotive factory driver in search of a fourth championship in SRO America competition.

The opening of the GT4 America season begins with a doubleheader for Sprint competitors  March 7-8 at Circuit of The Americas.

The latest news, photos and video features from the trusted Sportscar365 web staff.

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