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Road America: Blackdog Racing race report

Fighting through the mishaps, Gaples comes from behind to finish 11th. Elkhart Lake, WI (August 10, 2008)--Despite potentially race ending incidents, the Blackdog Racing ...

Fighting through the mishaps, Gaples comes from behind to finish 11th.

Elkhart Lake, WI (August 10, 2008)--Despite potentially race ending incidents, the Blackdog Racing #34 Corvette, sponsored by Kleinschmidt, Inc, and driven by Libertyville, IL resident Tony Gaples, finished a strong 11th at the Speed World Challenge GT race, held at the historic Road America Racecourse.

Gaples qualified 16th on Saturday, before the first of two major hurdles would present itself, giving himself a solid, mid pack starting position for Sunday's race. At 2:40 PM CDT Sunday, the start engine command was given, and the cars headed out on their formation lap. With the formation lap completed, in typical, uneventful fashion, Gaples returned to the starting grid, awaiting the green flag. Seconds later, right as the green flag dropped, the car stalled.

Despite quickly getting the motor re-fired, Gaples now found himself in last place. Over the next 15 laps around the 4 mile, 14 turn racecourse, Gaples relied on his driving experience, combined with the outstanding performance of his Blackdog Racing Corvette, to work his way into the top 10. Then, on lap 16, came the second hurdle.

Coming into turn 5, the motor in the #8 Cadillac CTS-V let go, spewing oil and flames out from under the car, as it slid into the turn backwards. Despite sliding off the track without contacting any other cars, the Cadillac left a trail of oil behind, making the ninety degree, uphill turn 5 even more treacherous. Several vehicles spun out, and those that didn't were forced to carefully pick their way through the oil. The instant lack of traction and the added traffic ahead required Gaples to take an exceptionally wide line through the turn, allowing the #57 Dodge Viper to pass underneath him, and into the top ten, just before the yellow flag came out. The final laps of the race were run under caution.

The next SPEED World Challenge event is August 21-24 at the Mosport Grand Prix, held in Toronto, ON. Full schedule can be found at www.World-Challenge.com

-credit: Blackdog Racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Tony Gaples