Blomqvist to make IndyCar debut in Toronto as sub for Pagenaud

MOSPORT PARK, CANADA - JULY 09: #60: Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Colin Braun, Tom Blomqvist during the Mosport at Mosport Park on July 09, 2023 in Mosport Park, Canada. (Photo by Jake Galstad / LAT Images)
MOSPORT PARK, CANADA - JULY 09: #60: Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian, Acura ARX-06, GTP: Colin Braun, Tom Blomqvist during the Mosport at Mosport Park on July 09, 2023 in Mosport Park, Canada. (Photo by Jake Galstad / LAT Images)

Reigning IMSA DPi champion and winner of last weekend’s GTP race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Tom Blomqvist will make his IndyCar debut for Meyer Shank Racing this weekend in Toronto as the substitute for Simon Pagenaud.

The temporary move with Blomqvist comes after IndyCar’s medical team did not clear Pagenaud to drive after demonstrating concussion-like symptoms following a heavy brake failure-related crash at the most recent round in Mid-Ohio.

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“Simon says he’s feeling fine and absolutely ready to get back in the car once he is cleared, but he knows there is an IndyCar protocol in place to protect the drivers, so we just have to follow those guidelines,” Shank said. “I know he was disappointed to end his long streak of starts, but everyone wants him to be as healthy as possible so we just have to follow the IndyCar medical guidance on this.

“We are fortunate to have Tom available to jump in on such short notice. He’s a champion, has a little bit of experience in the car, and is coming off another big IMSA win last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, so this was not a tough call for us to make.”

pic.twitter.com/aKmS8QBE0E

— Simon Pagenaud (@simonpagenaud) July 11, 2023

Blomqvist, who is tipped to be taking a full-time role with MSR in IndyCar next year, was asked to stay in Canada after Sunday’s win with teammate Colin Braun in the No. 60 Acura ARX-06, in case Pagenaud was unable to race, but flew back to the UK and is turning around to fly back to Toronto.

“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,” Blomqvist said. “I have to thank Mike 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 IndyCar 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.”


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