Blackdog Racing Wins for The Nissan Z GT4 Program Sebring

May 12th, 2024 by

Photo credit: Nissan

In the third and fourth rounds of the 2024 Pirelli GT4 America championship, the Nissan Z NISMO’s performance was on display as all four Nissan teams achieved pole positions, fast laps, and the car’s first class win. The #9 Blackdog Speed Shop Nissan Z NISMO GT4 driven by Tony Gaples and Max Root won the ProAm class in the second of the two weekend races. Seeing the potential for performance, the teams at Blackdog Speed Shop and Flying Lizard Motorsports placed orders for their own Nissan GT4 vehicles, doubling Nissan’s market share by 2024.

“This is really special to be the first winner for Nissan in the series. To do it with Tony and Blackdog is super special,” said Root, who was filling in for regular Blackdog driver Michael Cooper. “Sebring is a bumpy place and Tony did a phenomenal job bringing it home for us.”

The first race Johnathan Neudorf (#23 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4) led the field into turn one, recorded the fastest race lap, and held a comfortable three- to four-second advantage before transferring the lead to Michai Stephens. Neudorf started from the outside of the front row. Stephens kept up his advantage and crossed the finish line 3.673 seconds in front of the pack. Unfortunately, the car was disqualified for being underweight during the technical examination conducted after the race. In the ProAm class, the #9 Blackdog Speed Shop Nissan Z NISMO GT4 driven by Gaples and Root finished on the podium. The #5 Flying Lizard Motorsports Nissan Z NISMO GT4, driven by Stefan Rzadzinski and Damir Hot, finished fifth in the class, earning crucial ProAm points. Colin Harrison and Eric Powell (#23 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4) placed sixth in the ProAm class following a drive-through penalty for an on-track incident.

“This first win is for all of the Nissan employees, dealers and fans who support our passion for performance and cheered us on,” said Mike Carcamo, program director, Sports Cars, NISMO Cars and Motorsports, Nissan Motor Corporation. “To have the first Nissan Z GT4 win at Sebring, with so much Nissan history, makes it sweet. We can’t wait for the rest of the season.”

The Second race started from the pole position, Root took the #9 Blackdog Speed Shop Nissan Z NISMO GT4 to an immediate lead, setting the fastest race lap before handing off to Gaples. A full course caution with a safety car eliminated the team advantage, but Gaples maintained the ProAm lead for the class win. Stephens and Neudorf (#23 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4) had an eventful race with Stephens recovering from a minor off early in the race. After the driver change, Neudorf continued to push to take third in the Silver class. Powell and Harrison (#23 TechSport Racing Nissan Z NISMO GT4) were fifth in the ProAm class, trailed closely by the #5 Flying Lizard Motorsports Nissan Z NISMO GT4, driven by Rzadzinski and Hot, in sixth.

The 2024 Pirelli GT4 America championship consists of seven double-header weekends at some of the most challenging racetracks in North America. After Sebring the series goes on to:

Circuit of the Americas (Austin, TX) – May 17-19
Virginia International Raceway (Alton, VA) – July 19-21
Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI) – August 16-18
Barber Motorsports Park (Birmingham, AL) – September 6-8
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Speedway, IN) – October 4-6
The Pirelli GT4 America championship is for privateer teams racing with homologated race cars. There are no factory teams.

All Pirelli GT4 America races are broadcast live and archived on the SRO Motorsports GTWorld YouTube channel.

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Posted in Sebring