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Aschenbach, Gaples Return to Blackdog in GTS Sprint Program

Lawson Aschenbach, Tony Gaples confirmed in PWC GTS Sprint season…

Photo: Richard Prince/GM

Blackdog Speed Shop has confirmed its return to Pirelli World Challenge, with the team having finalized its GTS Sprint program with a pair of Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R cars.

Lawson Aschenbach and Tony Gaples will again pilot the Pratt & Miller-built GT4 entries, with a four-round Sprint-only program so far announced.

The team has yet to confirm its participation for PWC’s new SprintX format, which has now become part of the overall GTS championship.

However, additional announcements on the team’s 2018 program are expected in due time.

Aschenbach won his third PWC GTS drivers’ title last year, in the first season for the new-gen Camaro GT4, and will be looking to defend his overall crown in the sprint race championship.

“I’m very optimistic about the potential of our Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R going into another season with Blackdog Speed Shop,” he said.

“I feel that we have the best team working on the best car in our class. Through the years, this program has proven itself as a consistent championship contender in World Challenge, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

“With partners like Blackdog Speed Shop, Chevrolet Racing, and Pratt & Miller, there is no doubt that we can compete for more race victories and titles in 2018.”

Gaples, meanwhile, is set for another season of GTSA competition, having ended the 2017 season with his first career victory at Sonoma Raceway and a runner-up finish in the class championship.

“Sprint racing is why I got into the sport, and I’m looking forward to starting the season again in St. Petersburg,” Gaples said.

“Our goals are simple: repeat as GTS Manufacturer, Driver and Team champions.

“There are a lot of new manufacturers and drivers coming into this championship, but I feel we have the best and most experienced operation in all of Pirelli World Challenge.”

It’s understood Blackdog is among several GTS teams that are not in favor of PWC’s SprintX format, which sees extended 60-minute races with mandatory pit stops and driver changes for Pro-Am lineups.

Bronze-rated drivers, such as Gaples, however, will be permitted to complete as a solo driver, as long as the pit stop requirements are met.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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