Blackdog Speed Shop’s racing efforts will take on an entirely different look in 2019 – in the shape of two McLaren 570S GT4s.
Long-time Blackdog racer Tony Gaples is set to campaign a new McLaren 570S GT4 in the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Championship – part of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America series. Gaples has been part of the championship since 2002, and the coming year’s campaign looks to be one of the most promising of his career.
The team also confirmed it will run a second McLaren 570S GT4 in the championship, which starts in early March at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Further details of this entry will be announced in the coming weeks.
Blackdog Speed Shop is the most successful team in GTS/GT4 competition in the series formerly known as Pirelli World Challenge. It has claimed 25 race victories, two Team Championships and four Driver Championships to date.
Likewise, Gaples has been a fixture in World Challenge. He is one of only three drivers to record more than 200 starts. He placed second in the 2017 GTSA Driver Championship – with a victory at Sonoma to close the season – and finished third in 2018 GTSA points. He recorded three podium finishes: St. Petersburg, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Watkins Glen.
After running a combination of Sprint and SprintX events in 2018, Gaples is eager for a full season of single-driver racing this season with the McLaren 570S GT4, which has enjoyed race successes across global GT4 championships since its competitive customer team debut in 2017. Owning to strict GT4 regulations, the racing McLaren shares much with the road-going McLaren 570S Coupe. Among the common features is an identical carbon chassis, a mid-mounted 3.8L twin-turbo V8 motor and seven-speed paddle-shift transmission.
The Pirelli GT4 America championship begins March 8-10 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.