07/08/19

Race Result: Blomqvist shines despite challenging weekend

Race 1 Race 2

Tom Blomqvist put in an outstanding individual performance at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship latest round at Road America, Wisconsin, last weekend, where he qualified on pole position before the #25 BMW Team RLL car was disqualified due to technical infringements, then finished the race in 5th place.

25-year-old Tom endured a weekend of mixed fortunes at round eight of GTLM competition. Searching for his first podium of the year in the series, and after coming so close several times - Tom again, unfortunately, came within a hair’s breadth once again.

The weekend got off to a flying start for Tom as he set the third fastest GTLM time during the first practice session. With Connor at the helm of the M8 GTE for the second practice, Tom headed back out for the third and final session before qualifying where he set the third quickest time again.

Despite a rain shower just before qualifying, slick tyres were the choice for qualifying and it was decided that Tom would take to the track for the duo. Tom immediately began replicating his strong pace from practice as he searched for his first pole position in the American sportscar series.

With four minutes of the session remaining, the BMW factory driver set his best time - a 2:00.334 which put him 0.319 seconds clear of his competitors - marking a fantastic performance and a brand new lap record for the GTLM class at Road America.

Unfortunately, Tom and his team-mate Connor Di Phillippi - along with their sister BMW - were disqualified from the results due to a technical infringement. This meant that the Integro-sponsored driver would start from seventh position on the grid for Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute race.

When the time came to go racing, Tom started the race for the pair. Getting a clean getaway, Tom had gained one place by the end of the first lap, and by lap 12, Tom had made up another place to sit him fifth.

As the race progressed, Tom pitted for new tyres and stayed in the car where he worked consistently hard to get the car up to the podium positions. With the two-hour mark fast approaching, Tom was running in second place when he pitted for his final time and handed the controls over to Connor.

Heading back out onto the circuit, Connor was tasked with making their pitstop strategy work but unfortunately, the gamble on strategy didn’t pay off and, despite Connor showing good pace, he crossed the finishing line in fifth place.

“It is a very disappointing result because we had a quick car this weekend,” Tom said after the race. “We need to get on top of the issues and resolve them to finally get the results that we deserve. The drivers and crew are all giving it their best, yet we are just not getting the results so we need to look at ourselves and find out why so we can improve so the next round.”

Despite a testing weekend, Tom can certainly be proud of his sterling efforts during qualifying and the race where he showed incredible consistency and pace throughout the weekend. Tom’s next IMSA round will take him to the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, Virginia on 23-25 August.