2nd July 2019
Tom Blomqvist and the #25 BMW M8 GTE suffered an unfortunate ending to the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, as a number of incidents halted their charge for a strong podium finish, before being credited with a seventh-place finish - having been in the mix for a podium.
In one of the showpiece events on the IMSA calendar, Tom was once again partnered by Connor De Phillippi in the Team RLLR #25 BMW M8 GTE.
Beginning the weekend's action with qualifying, Connor was on qualifying duties for the #25 and recorded a lap time of 1:41.414 - to give the #25 car a sixth-place start in the GTLM class.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen then got underway with the green flag on Sunday, and Tom’s stint saw the #25 car move up the field and lead the race from lap 57-78. An outstanding effort by Tom saw him guide the team up the order and into the mix for the race victory in the GTLM class.
Then a sudden turn of events saw an incident with Tom behind the wheel of the BMW. Running in second place and hot on the tail of the leading Porsche, Tom moved out of the way of a faster moving LMP2 car but when the prototype went to pass the Porsche, the pair collided in front of Tom.
With the pair of cars coming together, the LMP2 propelled back onto the race track and right in front of Tom. With nowhere to go, Tom collected the prototype and sustained damage to the front of his BMW but managed to keep the car moving and took the lead of the GTLM class from the Porsche.
With the car continuing to run despite the contact, the car then suddenly began to suffer from the incident and came into the pits for an unscheduled stop where Tom’s teammate Conor De Phillippi took over the driving duties. With the team taking the opportunity to fill up on fuel, a dramatic fire then broke out on the #25 BMW M8 GTE, which was quickly brought under control by BMW Team RLLR and fortunately nobody was injured.
Unfortunately, this caused the car to retire for the race on lap 159 and ended the day for Tom and the #25. Additionally, the fire may require the build of a spare chassis in the few days remaining before the team is scheduled to arrive at ‘Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’ for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix this coming Thursday.
Reflecting on a weekend which ended in unfortunate fashion, Tom remained upbeat about the overall performance of the car on the track this weekend.
“We got ourselves into a good position early on but it was a little bit of a strange race and everyone had to manage a lot with the fuel and with the yellows at the beginning. We were running our strategy and it looked like we were on for a good result but unfortunately, an incident caused some damage to the front. The car was still okay but things started to go wrong a few laps later and it definitely did not get better with the fire.”
“The track for next weekend’s race looks cool and really fun. I am really looking forward to racing at CTMP. We have made a lot of progress this week with the car and we're hungry for some good results now. We just need to run a smart race and see what that brings. I am looking forward to it!”
Tom’s next race will be the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix Presented By Acura, in Canada taking place from the 5th - 7th July.