23/05/17

Race Result: Another unfortunate weekend for Tom Blomqvist

Lausitzring (GER) Lausitzring (GER)
Race 1 17th Race 2 17th

Tom Blomqvist could not shake his bad luck as he experienced another difficult weekend in the DTM, being turned in race one while a problem with his clutch resulted in a jump start in race two - meaning he could not convert good starting positions into points.

Hoping to put his bad luck to bed and change his recent run of form at the Lausitzring, Tom started the weekend off well in Friday’s practice, finishing as the best-placed BMW in 11th place. This continued into Saturday when Tom again finished as the fastest BMW in the morning’s practice session as he ended the 30-minute session in 9th place. 

A cool Saturday qualifying session saw the entire field covered by less than a second and Tom’s time of 1:16.473 meant he would start the first race of the weekend in sixth place, placing him in a good position to fight for his first points of 2017. 

As the lights went out for race one at the Lausitzring, Tom was pipped off the start by Nico Mueller but stayed aggressive into turn one and despite being three abreast and stuck in the middle, Tom retook 6th place on the exit of the corner. 

Despite struggling with tyre temperature in the early stages of the race, Tom maintained sixth place - keeping up with Rene Rast and teammate Timo Glock in front. A stop at the end of lap 12 saw Tom rejoin the track in 12th place and was working the tyres hard to get them up to temperature in the cool conditions while keeping the faster moving Audis behind him. 

As Tom completed his first lap on the new tyres, Paul Di Resta rejoined the track after his mandatory pit stop, coming out just in front of Tom. With Di Resta struggling for grip and pace, Tom took the outside line heading round turn four while leaving Di Resta plenty of room. Di Resta tried to out brake Tom, locking up and smashing into the side of Tom’s BMW, spinning Tom and demoting him to the back of the field. 

Now with damage to the right-hand side of his BMW, the 23-year-old’s hopes of a point scoring finish were all but over as the spin and damage cost him too much time to fightback. Crossing the line in 17th place, Tom’s unlucky run continued; making it three consecutive races where unavoidable collisions have ruined his race. 

“It was a race to forget for me. I was in sixth place before my pit stop. One lap after my stop, Paul di Resta came out of the pit lane on cold tyres. I knew that it could get tight on turn four and I tried to leave plenty of room. He had some understeer and turned me, even though I had left enough space. I was in last place after that and couldn’t do anything else.”

Looking for a quick turnaround, Tom started Sunday off well by finishing 8th in free practice and as the fastest BMW for the third practice sessions in a row. This pace continued into qualifying where Tom looked set for his first pole position of the season. Going fastest with a few minutes left to run, Tom then went even quicker than his first fastest lap - setting his best lap time of the weekend. However, Robert Wickens stole pole position from Tom right at the death and demoted him to second place but it was still an excellent session from Tom and his best qualifying since Moscow last August - giving him his first points of 2017. 

Lining up second on the grid, Tom’s race was over before it had even started. Experiencing problems with the clutch, Tom jumped the start, resulting in a penalty that ruined his race. After taking his penalty, Tom rejoined the race and was stone dead last and struggling for race pace. Tom fought back and got past Loic Duval to cross the line in 17th place but all in all was another disappointing result for Tom. 

“I was having problems with the clutch, which led to a jump start as I moved. I was really disappointed when I heard that I was being penalised. I didn’t really attack after that, but I wouldn't have had the pace for it. We need to find out why we are having problems with the race pace.”

Tom will be looking for a turnaround in fortunes at the 24 Hours Nürburgring this weekend as he joins up with the BMW Team Schnitzer – partnering Marco Wittmann, Martin Tomcyzk and Augusto Farfus in a strong driver lineup.