Race Weekend Central

Tom Blomqvist Charts Unique Path to IndyCar

The first Silly Season domino in the NTT IndyCar Series has finally fallen.

Meyer Shank Racing got things started Friday, Aug. 11, when it named Tom Blomqvist as one of its full-time entries for the 2024 season. Blomqvist has signed a multi-year deal with the team.

“It’s a big thing for me,” Blomqvist said. “It’s obviously a step up in terms of career trajectory, that’s something I’m really excited about. I’m also kind of coming back to my roots. It’s been [several] years since I last stepped foot properly in a single-seater series, and I’m extremely excited. I’ve been doing something so different for so long, but I think time will tell. I’m pretty confident I’ll figure this thing out.”

Like most young European drivers, Blomqvist, a native of England, grew up hoping to compete in Formula 1, and from 2012-14 drove in the FIA GP3 series. The highlight of this stint came in 2014 when he collected six wins en route to a runner-up finish in the championship behind Esteban Ocon. When that career path seemed to stall out a bit, he moved to sports cars, and has raced in the Deutsche Tourenwagen and FIA Endurance Series, then drove 23 Formula E events from 2017-21.

See also
Graham Rahal Ends 'Smooth' Day Just Short of Win in Indianapolis

Blomqvist, who turns 30 in November, moves over to the IndyCar side of the MSR operation after two years driving for the team in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. The partnership has been a successful one, as Blomqvist has been part of two overall Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona wins and the 2022 championship, teaming up with Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

He also has a runner-up class finish in the 24 Hours of LeMans in 2021.

“This is not a huge secret except to say this is a guy that deserves to do this,” MSR co-owner Mike Shank said. “We’re seriously proud of this, we worked on this for a long time. Jim (Meyer) and I went back and forth, and watched some amazing things he did on track with our IMSA car. We’re ready for him to move to the IndyCar Series.”

Blomqvist got his baptism in IndyCar last month when he filled in for an injured Pagenaud at Toronto. After qualifying 20th on the grid, his first race ended barely three seconds after the green flag flew when he was caught up in a multi-car incident in the first turn and was scored in 25th at the end of the day.

With his first race weekend out of the way, Blomqvist now switches to his next big “first.” Like many of the other drivers who have not come up via the Road to Indy ladder system, Blomqvist has never competed on an oval.

Blomqvist has been on ovals in the simulator, and he’s looking forward to the opportunity for what has become a trial by fire of sorts for would-be IndyCar drivers.

“I’m excited getting on the ovals,” he said. “Obviously that’s a completely new discipline that I have to get my head around. I’m quite lucky that I’ve got an opportunity in a few months’ time to hopefully get my first outing there, and get a feel for that.

“At the end of the day we’ve seen quite a few drivers come over into IndyCar with very little if not no experience on the ovals and figure that out. If you’re a top-line driver, you should be able to get your head around those things. But, yeah, it’s going to be a huge challenge, a new challenge. But, hey, I’ve got a pretty good guy there to guide me through it.”

See also
Scott Dixon Plays Strategy, Holds Off Graham Rahal to Win at Indianapolis

He’ll have a pretty good driver coach to help him along. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves joined Blomqvist on the dais with an announcement of his own, that he will focus on an Indy-only effort in 2024 while getting more involved with MSR on the business side as a minority owner.

He offered some friendly assurance.

“I’ll be there holding your hand,” Castroneves joked.

MSR will make an announcement on the team’s second full-time entry at a later date.

About the author

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via