IMSA Wire: Winning Beginning for Blomqvist with Meyer Shank

Winning Beginning for Blomqvist with Meyer Shank
The Brit Helps the No. 60 Acura to Victory at the Rolex 24 in His First DPi Race

February 4, 2022
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The minutes turn to hours, the day turns to night. Each lap becomes a blur of sound and color. Every turn of the wheel carries the weight of a team, of sponsors and manufacturers. It’s pressure stacked on pressure for hour upon hour.

Other than that, Mr. Blomqvist, how did you enjoy your first Rolex 24 At Daytona?

“I was speechless after the race,” Tom Blomqvist said Sunday after teaming with Oliver Jarvis, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud to win the famous endurance race.

“I mean, I dreamed of it,” he continued. “Did I believe? Yes, but you never know. It’s 24 hours of relentless racing. And every time I jumped in the car, at moments I felt really comfortable. At moments I was like, ‘Man, I can’t get this car to work.’”

He did get it to work, and his drive in the late hours of the race proved crucial to Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s overall win in the 60th anniversary of the race. When he handed the No. 60 MSR Acura ARX-05 to Helio Castroneves for the final time, Blomqvist was “cooked.”

“It was super intense,” he said. “… I just felt like the more laps I did, I was trying to figure out how to drive around the little problems we were encountering. And I just got more and more comfortable behind the wheel. Thankfully, the speed was there in those crucial stints.”

He’s no stranger to sports cars, but he was new to this particular sports car. A native of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Blomqvist has experience in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class. He also won as a BMW factory driver the 2018 24 Hours of Spa in 2018.

His extensive resume also includes Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), Blancpain GT Endurance Cup, Asian Le Mans Series, FIA GT World Cup, Intercontinental GT Challenge, Formula E and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

But this was Blomqvist’s first Rolex 24, his first race in a Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car, and it exceeded his expectations. Or perhaps he exceeded the race’s expectations.

His ability didn’t surprise team co-owners Michael Shank and Jim Meyer, who knew early that Blomqvist was the right choice to join Jarvis as the team’s full-season drivers for 2022.

“Tom doesn’t know this,” Meyer explained during the postrace press conference. “But the first time he tested for us, Mike called me and said, ‘We’ve got our guy. We’ve got our guy.’”

Shank was right. Blomqvist was ready for everything the Rolex 24 threw at him. And if certain things surprised him, he adapted to them and kept going.

“It was just a roller coaster of a race,” Blomqvist said. “Every stint here is just flat out. You’re managing so many things. You feel like you’re racing nose to tail from literally the green light. So it’s very different from what I’m used to, and honestly I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”

More crucial races lie ahead, but Meyer Shank has the early jump on the DPi field when the WeatherTech Championship season resumes March 19 with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.

As the celebration slowed Sunday afternoon, Blomqvist thanked team co-owners Shank and Meyer for the opportunity.

“Hopefully, I was able to repay a little bit of faith that they put in me,” Blomqvist said. “It’s been great so far. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”

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