22/03/18

Race Result: Disappointing Uruguayan trip for Tom Blomqvist

Race 1 Race 2

It was an unlucky visit to Punta del Este for Tom Blomqvist as the 24-year old finished the sixth race of the 2017/18 season in 16th place after a crash in free practice forced the young Brit to start the ePrix from the back of the grid.

Tom Blomqvist headed to Uruguay hoping to make amends after a difficult trip to Mexico City but Tom’s optimism didn’t come to fruition as early setbacks cost the Thunderhead-sponsored driver dearly in Punta del Este.

Commencing the weekend with free practice, Tom spent the first 45-minute session getting to grips with the Uruguayan street circuit and began to push the limits late on in the session - including a dramatic moment as Tom lifted all four-wheels of his Andretti completely off the ground. Tom finished the first session of Saturday in 18th place as he set a best lap time of 1:16.216, 1.680 seconds off the fastest man Sébastien Buemi.

The second practice session saw Tom’s pace improve as he spent the majority of the session inside the top-ten places but with twenty minutes left to go in the session, Tom had a scary moment. Losing control of his car on the huge ‘sausage kerb’ of a right-hand turn, Tom was then launched into the air and skidded into the tyre wall on the opposite side - clattering the rear of his car and removing the rear left wheel. While the team repaired his car, Tom continued the practice session in the other car and, despite his earlier crash, managed to go quicker, posting a 1:14.536 lap time to finish the session inside the top-ten in 9th place and as the fastest MS&AD Andretti.

Heading into qualifying, Tom was drawn into group one for the second consecutive race and had a big task on his hands if he was to make the cut into the super-pole shootout. With the track just a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic Ocean, sand was going to be a major factor for the first group as it swept in from the beach before qualifying. Tom’s flying lap saw him record a fastest overall first sector and a personal best middle sector but a mistake in the final stages of the lap saw Tom cross the line to record a 1:16.424 lap time - almost two seconds slower than his best time in second practice.

To add insult to injury, Tom was then forced to start the ePrix from the back of the grid has he incurred a penalty for a gearbox change from his crash in free practice two.

Starting the 2018 CBMM Niobium Punta del Este ePrix from 20th place, Tom got a good start at the lights and managed to squeeze his way down the inside of Nico Prost to move up to 19th place. Tom continued to battle hard in Uruguay and slowly progressed up the order.

With the tough task of having to catch up from behind, Tom had to settle for a 16th place finish on his Uruguayan debut to round off a disappointing, yet educating, weekend in South America.

“Overall it was not a very good weekend. It was going okay and I quite enjoyed the track during the first free practice but I made an error in free practice two, had an accident and destroyed the gearbox. It’s another tough one but I’ll live and learn from it. Hopefully, when we get back to Europe to Rome, things will go a bit smoother for us.”

Tom now has a month-long break from Formula E duties as the series heads to Italy for the first of the European rounds, starting with the inaugural Rome ePrix on April 14th.