Two-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner and 2022 IMSA Champion, Tom Blomqvist will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend, taking the reins of the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) No. 60 AutoNation / Sirius XM Honda - stepping in as replacement driver for Simon Pagenaud this weekend in Toronto.
Blomqvist, who won the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Championship with Meyer Shank Racing, has run primarily in sports cars and prototypes in the last seven seasons after having started his career in open-wheel racing. Last weekend, Blomqvist claimed pole position at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on his way to victory at the track with co-driver Colin Braun.
The move was made necessary Tuesday after the series’ medical staff did not clear full-time driver Simon Pagenaud to compete in this weekend's Indycar race as the Frenchman continues his recovery from the effects of a dramatic barrel-rolling crash that took place in Saturday’s practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The Toronto outing will not be his first on board an INDYCAR SERIES race car, as Blomqvist had an INDYCAR test with MSR in Sebring in October of 2022. The British-born driver came up through the karting ranks and ran four seasons in various Formula 3 series in Europe, scoring 12 wins. He also broke Lewis Hamilton’s record as the youngest champion of the Formula Renault UK series, taking the crown at the age of 16.
His INDYCAR SERIES debut comes in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, as the series battles for the 37th time on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile street course that winds through the city’s Exhibition Place grounds. This weekend’s MSR lineup features drivers on both ends of the seat time spectrum as the rookie Blomqvist will be joined by veteran Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda) who is looking to reprise previous successes on the course that lies in the shadow of the Princes’ Gate.
Sunday’s 85-lap race will air on Peacock on Sunday starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Qualifying takes place on Saturday, July 15, beginning at 2:45 p.m.
“First and foremost, I'm thinking of Simon and hoping that he recovers as quickly as possible so that he can get back behind the wheel. I have to thank Mike and Jim for considering me to fill in this weekend. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what IndyCar has to offer. Diving straight into the deep end is an understatement after only having one test in the MSR Indy car last year. I’m excited but aware of the challenges getting up to speed during a race weekend, so I’m not putting any pressure on myself. Just going to go out there soak it all in and give it all I’ve got.”
- Tom Blomqvist
"We're obviously still working to get Simon as healthy as possible. He is feeling fine and is ready to get back in the car once he is cleared. The decision to put Tom in the car was an easy one. He's coming off of an IMSA win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last weekend and I have all the confidence in the world putting him in our Indy car." - Mike Shank, co-owner of Meyer Shank Racing (MSR)