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Autosport Top 50 of 2023: #32 Tom Blomqvist

3rd in IMSA SportsCar Championship (GTP), 1st in Daytona 24 Hours

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Top 50 Drivers of 2023

Autosport's team of expert journalists got together to try to assess who were the top 50 drivers of 2023. Here are the results.

Three wins in IMSA’s GTP class with Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura was a strong return, but a repeat of Tom Blomqvist’s 2022 DPi title success with new team-mate Colin Braun was denied by a 200-point deduction for the tyre data manipulation that tainted the team’s Daytona 24 Hours triumph. Even then, the only crew to win more than twice were just 22 points shy.

There were also sparkling WEC performances in LMP2 outings with United Autosports, notably at Spa and Le Mans, and he made three IndyCar Series starts with MSR in place of the sidelined Simon Pagenaud, which is where his future lies as he switches codes for 2024.

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How Blomqvist’s IMSA speed prompted IndyCar switch

It’s not often that sportscar stars get the chance to switch full-time to America’s premier open-wheel series, but Tom Blomqvist’s speed for Meyer Shank Racing’s IMSA Acura squad over the past two years convinced his team bosses to give him his IndyCar shot in 2024. 

The 2022 series champion has a double-double of Daytona 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans majors under his belt, and now feels he’s ready for this new challenge. 

Victory at Petit Le Mans capped a strong year for Blomqvist in IMSA, but he and Braun missed out on the title due to points deduction from Daytona

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Victory at Petit Le Mans capped a strong year for Blomqvist in IMSA, but he and Braun missed out on the title due to points deduction from Daytona

“To be honest, I had a few rough years in my career,” says Blomqvist. “Up until last year I didn't find myself in competitive environments where I could fight for race wins or championships. 

“It's been a whirlwind. Mike took me on board [in 2022], and the start to the programme was obviously epic with a win at Daytona. That was really special for me. 

“As the season evolved, it was going really well, and Mike started to love what he saw. We got kinda chatty on that and he said, ‘mate, I’ve got these [IndyCar] rookie days that we can use as an indicator, you wanna have a crack?’ 

"I could keep trying to win Daytonas and championships and maybe try and win Le Mans… But now I've got a whole new different thing, where I'm kind of starting at the bottom again" Tom Blomqvist

“That test went all right actually. The first dialogue started already there, but not in a serious way. We came back this year and we won Daytona… obviously there was a bit surrounding that! But we still did a fantastic job on track, and in the week before in quali [where he took a last-gasp pole]. 

“As the season went on, [the IndyCar opportunity] just evolved. But it wasn't like ‘I'm going to join MSR so I can go to IndyCar’. When it became a realistic possibility for me, I thought ‘f*** yeah! Why not?’ 

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“Hopefully I've proved enough in this scene. I could've taken the easy route, and stayed in this sportscar paddock. I could keep trying to win Daytonas and championships and maybe try and win Le Mans… But now I've got a whole new different thing, where I'm kind of starting at the bottom again, and there's this runway there, so I'm excited about that.” 

Additional reporting by Joey Barnes

Blomqvist's form in IMSA with MSR meant he was near the top of the team's list to replace the injured Pagenaud in its IndyCar team, and has led to a multi-year deal

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt

Blomqvist's form in IMSA with MSR meant he was near the top of the team's list to replace the injured Pagenaud in its IndyCar team, and has led to a multi-year deal

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