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IndyCar Toronto

Blomqvist: IndyCar debut “even harder than I actually thought”

IMSA sportscar ace Tom Blomqvist says his key aim on his IndyCar Series debut on the streets of Toronto this weekend is not to “embarrass myself”.

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Blomqvist has been called up from Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura IMSA SportsCar Championship squad to replace Simon Pagenaud in its #60 Honda-powered entry.

Pagenaud is recovering from concussion-like symptoms and hasn’t been cleared by IndyCar’s medical team for this weekend’s event.

Blomqvist, the 29-year-old Briton who is the son of World Rally champion Stig, has been tipped to graduate to IndyCar next year and this weekend is being seen as an ‘in at the deep end’ audition for 2024.

“I just don't want to embarrass myself,” he said. “That's the biggest thing. Like it's a hard situation to come into.

“Obviously, I'm a competitor, so I want to do well. If I leave the weekend and felt like I didn't really get what I expected for myself, obviously I'll be a little bit disappointed.

“[In Friday practice] I just wanted to get through it. It was even harder than I actually thought. I drove the car a while ago, but it's just hard to jump into that. Everything feels so foreign.

“You just feel a bit lost in the car, all the buttons, coming into the pits, like all the basics are just so foreign.”

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Blomqvist ended the 75-minute session in 26th position of the 27-car entry, 2.9s off the pace.

“I knew it was going to be hard, but that's the issue coming in is how hard it's going to be,” he added. “Hopefully I figure it out.

“The bigger picture is I'm not even a point where I'm like, ‘where the hell can I find time?’ It's so obvious. I've been driving for years and years. All sorts of cars. It's not like I'm going, ‘man, how do I find all the lap time?’ – it's not rocket science.

“I think I know where I need to improve and where to find time because I feel it myself when I'm driving. The video will be more important, seeing any of the big lines that they're doing, or different lines.

“But the data is pretty simple to read. Obviously here I had 75 minutes on the track. It was just steady steps. I didn't really make any huge leaps and bounds in the session, so hopefully I can do that overnight.

“The physicality is going to be probably the biggest thing for me. I found in some cases, once the speed comes up, to chase a car you need to really be on top of it, and that's where I was kind of leaving a lot of margins.”

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