IMSA ROUND THREE | ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH | APRIL 14 - 15
Tom Blomqvist's IMSA campaign resumed in California this past weekend as he contested the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach with Meyer Shank Racing. An incident right at the start of the race put Tom and the #60 immediately on the back foot as he was forced to take evasive action, before contact from a rival caused him to spin at the first turn. Tom battled on, alongside teammate Colin Braun to finish the race in P6.
Tom and his Meyer Shank Racing team arrived in Long Beach with high hopes of success as the third race of the IMSA campaign took place in California. With Tom lining up alongside Colin Braun in the #60 ARX-06 LMDh for what is the first spring event of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship.
It was a strong start to the weekend for Tom and the #60 as he achieved P2 during qualifying, meaning the car would start the race on the front row.
However, shortly after the green flags were waved and the race got underway, an audacious dash towards the first corner sent the third placed car spinning into Tom's path. He was forced to take evasive action but was collected by a rival and sent into a spin of his own.
The incident cost the team a lap, as Tom found himself at the back of the 25 car field as a result.
Tom battled hard and was able to regain the lead lap, moving up as far as fifth position as the other GTP rivals pitted.
At this point, #60 MSR Acura had to perform a pitstop of it's own where Tom handed the reigns to teammate Colin Braun, who rejoined the race with the car in P7.
Colin made up one position, crossing the finish line in P6 to conclude a frustrating day for the team. The results means that Tom and the #60 team take their total points tally to 743, sitting 8th in the driver championship after the opening three rounds.
"What a disaster. Unfortunately I got hit at the start. (Sebastien) Bourdais tried to be the hero in the first corner, I don’t know what kind of grip he thought he was going to have, we know how these tires can be so treacherous. I stayed out of his way, but trying to dodge him, someone ran into the back of me. Then we went a lap down and the race was typical and I couldn’t really do anything from there. It’s a shame because the car was strong this weekend and it should have been an easy one for Acura. I feel sorry for all the boys and girls who put so much effort on these cars to make them quick. It’s a shame we couldn’t reward them at their home Grand Prix."
- Tom Blomqvist
Meyer Shank Racing will have nearly a month long break before heading to the west coast for the next round of IMSA competition at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on May 14th.
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