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Pirelli GT4 America

Blackdog Signs Newly Named McLaren Factory Driver Cooper

Michael Cooper to lead Blackdog’s GT4 Sprint lineup after Mclaren factory signing…

Photo: Blackdog Speed Shop

Newly-announced McLaren factory driver Michael Cooper will race for Blackdog Speed Shop in this year’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series.

The 29-year-old American, who won the 2015 title with the Illinois-based squad, joins the previously confirmed Tony Gaples in the two-car McLaren 570S GT4 operation.

Cooper and Gaples contested last year’s GT4 America SprintX series together in a Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R prepared by Blackdog, which has switched from GM to McLaren for 2019.

Cooper is now set for his third full season at GT4/GTS level and his first since 2016, having appeared in TCR and GT3 machinery in recent years.

The former GM-affiliated driver won the Blancpain GT World Challenge GT3 SprintX title in 2017 with Jordan Taylor, driving a Cadillac ATS-V.R GT3.

“It’s great to be back full-time with Tony, Ray [Sorenson, team manager] and everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop,” said Cooper.

“Representing any manufacturer is a privilege, especially one like McLaren. It has a heritage that very few manufacturers can match, so I’m thankful for this opportunity.

“I learned quite a bit driving for GM, and those years and championships put me in a position to take this next step in my career.

“Running SprintX last year was a nice experience to get back in the team and this year’s full championship will be even better.”

The first round of the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series takes place at St. Pete next weekend.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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