Tom Blomqvist recorded a third-place starting place in qualifying at Laguna Seca before going on to collect a fifth place finish in round ten of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
After a difficult couple of races for Tom in his #25 BMW machinery, he and his team-mate Connor De Phillippi were looking to bounce back in the penultimate race of the season at the legendary Laguna Seca.
The weekend got underway with the first free practice session on Friday, and Tom recorded the #25’s fastest lap as the duo finished the session in fifth place. Tom set the pace for the #25 in the second session as they finished up in 6th place.
In the third and final practice outing on Saturday morning, Tom, behind the wheel on the #25 M8 GTE, finished the session in second position and just 0.230-seconds behind the leading time.
For qualifying, it was decided that Tom would be the man to take the wheel and after completing six laps, Tom set his best time in the BMW M8 GTE on lap five and the 1:21.891s put them third on the grid for the two-hour and 40-minute race.
When the time for lights out came, Tom was the first of the pair to race. After a good rolling start, Tom maintained his position in the opening stint to be running in third after 30 laps of racing. This was promoted to second when the leading #66 came in for a pit stop and the #25 car boxed themselves on lap 34 and was released back into the field in fifth position with Connor at the helm.
On its next scheduled stop on lap 74, the car was running in third position and in contention for a podium. The car continued to run in this position until the very closing stages of competition.
Entering the final stages of the race, the BMW with Connor behind the wheel was fighting tyre degradation as two flying Corvettes battled from the rear. Doing his utmost to keep the Corvettes behind, Connor’s resistance went unrewarded as the Corvettes eventually got past with just seven minutes on the clock and in doing so slipped from the final podium place into fifth place.
“It was very close at the end and to come so close to the podium and not get the result is a bit disappointing,” Tom said after the race. “The guys did a great job this weekend but the Corvettes just managed to get by at the end. Connor did a very commendable job keeping them at bay as long as he did.”
The final round of the 2019 season will take place on 12th October as the series heads to Road Atlanta for the 2019 Petit Le Mans.
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