Blomqvist looking forward to WEC challenge with JOTA
Tom Blomqvist is one of the most respected names in motorsport and has carved out a stellar career for himself across F3, DTM, IMSA, GT3 racing and Formula E.
But 27-year-old Blomqvist, son of legendary rally star Stig, is still a relative novice when it comes to racing LMP cars in the FIA WEC.
Of Swedish, New Zealand and British descent, Blomqvist has been a popular and highly regarded driver on the international scene for almost a decade.
During that time, he has finished ahead of F1 sensation Max Verstappen in the 2014 F3 series and has also been a victor in his rookie DTM season. But now the 27-year-old enters his first WEC season and does so with just a single LMP2 WEC start to his name.
That came in 2016 at the 6 Hours of Shanghai when he partnered with friend and current team-mate Sean Gelael and current Alfa Romeo F1 driver, Antonio Giovinazzi. They took a fine second place in an Extreme Speed Motorsports run Ligier that day but fast forward almost five years and Blomqvist is back with an aim to go one better.
“It’s been a while since I drove a car with quite a substantial amount of downforce,” he told fiawec.com as he prepares to tackle Spa-Francorchamps in the JOTA entered Oreca-Gibson.
“I remember the first time I drove an LMP2 car and it was back when I was doing DTM at the time. It was quite a similar car to drive, so it wasn't really a big shock but after having done so many years in GT and then obviously more recently Formula E, it took some getting used to - especially the high-speed stuff. I got up to speed pretty quickly. Nonetheless, I'm lacking quite a lot of experience in the car, and I still don't feel 100% comfortable but I’m sure this will come quickly.”
If there is a lot more to come from Blomqvist and JOTA, where he will share the car with Gelael and Stoffel Vandoorne, then the opposition had better watch out. In February, he and Gelael notched up a fine double victory at Abu Dhabi to ensure Gelael took runner-up position in the final standings.
Blomqvist explained: “It was good that we got to do those races out in Asia, for me personally and also for Sean (Gelael). I've really enjoyed working with the JOTA guys, there is a great atmosphere within the team, a great bunch of engineers and they are all super hard workers. So I think these are the ingredients for us to have a really strong WEC season.”
Blomqvist and JOTA will be action at The Prologue (official pre-season test), which kicks off tomorrow (26 April) at Spa-Francorchamps.