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IndyCar Toronto

Blomqvist to make IndyCar debut in place of Pagenaud at Toronto

Meyer Shank Racing will again be without its former IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud at Toronto this weekend and has called up its IMSA star Tom Blomqvist.

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist

IndyCar Series’ medical staff did not clear Pagenaud to compete at Toronto this weekend, 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.

Instead of running Conor Daly again as substitute driver, it will parachute its IMSA SportsCar Championship ace Blomqvist into the #60 Honda-powered Dallara.

Blomqvist is fresh off victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the Acura ARX-06 he shared with Colin Braun. They also won the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona together.

Blomqvist has tested MSR’s IndyCar before, at Sebring in October 2022, but will be thrown in at the deep end around the 11-turn, 1.786-mile street course in Toronto this weekend.

“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,” said Blomqvist, who is the son of World Rally champion Stig.

“I have to thank Mike [Shank] and Jim [Meyer] 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 of 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.”

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist

#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

This will mark Blomqvist’s first start in open-wheel, single-seater competition since his final Formula E campaign with NIO in 2021, after which the Formula 3 and DTM veteran has driven for MSR in IMSA’s premier prototype division.

Team owner Mike Shank added: “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.”

Pagenaud tweeted that he hopes to be back racing soon, although the Iowa oval double-header arrives straight after the Toronto race weekend.

 
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