July 05, 2017

Race Result: Triple point scoring weekend for Blomqvist

Norisring (GER) Norisring (GER)
Race 1 6th Race 2 9th

Tom Blomqvist secured a triple point scoring weekend at the Norisring after two top-ten finishes and pole position helped him round off his most successful race weekend of the season to date.

Being the only street circuit on the DTM calendar, the Norisring always provides a weekend of action-packed racing and this year proved no different. The first session of the weekend started positively for the 23-year old as Tom finished the practice session up in 3rd place and just 0.192 seconds off the fastest man, Bruno Spengler.

With a lap of the Norisring being about 48 seconds long, margins were small as drivers battled to find the edge. Qualifying for race one proved this as just six-tenths covered the entire field after the session elapsed. Tom, with a time of 47.527, was just 0.055 seconds off pole which was enough to put him into 4th place on the grid for race one at the Norisring.

Race One

Prior to race one, the heavens opened as the first rainfall of the weekend hit the streets of the Norisring. This added to the drama as standing water covered the track, forcing all the drivers to switch onto the wet weather tyres.

With some grid slots flooded and others dry, some drivers got away well whereas others struggled to get off the line went the lights went out. Tom found himself as one of the unfortunate drivers as he bogged down off the line before eventually getting up to speed heading into turn one.

Tom kept his nose clean of any drama at the turn one hairpin as some drivers outbraked themselves and ran wide. Tom stayed tight to the inside and coming out of the hairpin was in 5th place as Tom came under pressure from Wittmann; losing out to the DTM Champion, Tom dropped back to sixth place as he crossed the line for the end of lap one.

As most of the drivers kept it clean, not wanting to veer from the racing line and hit any standing water, the drivers patiently waited for the track to dry before making the switch onto slicks.

Running in 5th place, Tom drove into the pits on lap 20 for his mandatory pitstop that saw him in his box for 9.7 seconds before rejoining the track. A huge puddle on the exit of the pits saw Tom almost lose the back-end of his car as he struck the standing water on his slick tyres but managed to keep control of his BMW.

After all the pitstops were complete, Tom had lost out on a couple of positions and dropped down to 8th place as the majority of the track dried up. On lap 32, Rockenfeller and Mortara came together, spinning Mortara and gifting Tom 7th place. Rockenfeller was then handed a drive through penalty for his contact with Mortara and lifted Tom into 6th place.

Tom’s pace during the final stages of the race was remarkable as the TPS-sponsored driver set a new lap-record for the Norisring and as the race entered the final minutes of the race, Tom began to catch Timo Glock and was hassling his fellow BMW driver. Not close enough to pull a simple move, Tom opted not to take a last-ditch attempt at taking 5th place and crossed the line in 6th to secure his first top-ten finish of the season.

“The race was a great one for BMW, I’m really happy for Bruno and Maxime. All the same, it feels great to score points in the first race. I lost a few positions at the start, but the pace was okay after that. I was right behind Timo Glock at the end, but could not find a way past him. Congratulations to the guys on the podium.”

Race Two

Last year, on the Sunday, Tom secured his first ever DTM pole position and this year he secured his second. A sensational lap for Tom, 47.252, put him top of the order from Wickens by just 0.004 as just one tenths covered 1st to 7th and six tenths covered the entire field! Tom picked up 3 points for his pole position as he hoped to do one better than his 2nd place finish from pole last year.

When the lights went out for race two at the Norisring, Tom’s pole position advantage was instantly eaten up as he bogged down off the line. Being swamped by the faster moving pack behind him, Tom was in the middle of the action and came out of turn one in 6th place – forcing him into a switch of strategy.

Diving into the pits at the end of lap one from sixth place, Tom’s stop saw him come out just in front of Jamie Green who opted for a lap one stop and behind Auer who also chose for an early stop.

As drivers came into the pits at the end of laps two and three, Tom’s strategy did not seem to pay off as drivers came out just in front of Tom. Trying to get passed Glock and Wittmann while his tyres were up to temperature, Tom was right on the tail of Glock as the pair came down the finishing straight.

Tom pulled out of the slipstream of Glock and went to the inside as Green, who was behind Tom, did exactly the same. Tom took the position from Glock but was passed by Green at the same time as the three of them entered the hairpin and turn one.

Now in a long convoy of cars, almost the entire field was within DRS of the car in front as everyone fought for position and the tiniest mistake could cost you several positions. As Tom sized up a move on Paffett, Tom took to the outside going down into turn one but as Paffett ran wide – Tom ran even wider, opening the door to Augusto Farfus.

Now fighting with Farfus, the pair were side by side for almost more than a lap as the pair fought vigorously for the position. Eventually losing out to Farfus, Tom was now on the back of Nico Mueller as he ran wide at turn one and rejoined just in front of Tom. Similar to the Farfus battle, Tom and Nico ran side by side for several corners until Tom took the inside into turn one and took the position away from him.

Now running in 15th place, Tom was not where he wanted to be when Rene Rast and Robert Wickens came together on lap 24. This brought out the safety car and the Indy-Car style restart that made its debut appearance at the start of the season.

A crazy restart saw Tom’s position change five times over the lap as he battled with a handful of drivers from all different angles on all different parts of the race track! Now in 12th place, the race was red flagged as Gary Paffett had a frightening crash with Mike Rockenfeller.

As the race was restarted behind the safety car, Tom kept his nose clean from any last-minute dramas as he crossed the finishing line in 9th place, picking up two more points and rounding off a triple point scoring weekend for the Thunderhead-sponsored driver.

“Two points are better than nothing. However, starting from pole, I obviously wanted to be much further up the field and challenging for the win. As such, I am very disappointed. I have had problems with my starts all season, and I did not get away well here either. Then I was unlucky when I returned to the track behind a large group after the pit stop, and dropped right back through the field. There was a very thin line between a top result and a place towards the back of the field today.”

Tom’s tally of 15 points places him 15th in the Drivers’ Championship as the DTM moves onto Russia and the Moscow Raceway in three weeks’ time.

 

#31 Tom Blomqvist (BMW M4 DTM)

 

FP1: 3rd (48.154, +0.183)

 

FP2: 13th (48.272, +0.458)

Q1: 4th (47.527, +0.055)

Race 1: 6th

 

FP3: 12th (47.954, +0.322)

Q2: 1st (47.252)

Race 2: 9th