Tom Blomqvist will return to Mayer Shank Racing for the final two rounds of the 2023 IndyCar season as Simon Pagenaud continues to battle concussion-related symptoms following his frightening accident in Mid-Ohio. Medical staff have not cleared Pagenaud for a return for the final two race weekends of the year.
Blomqvist will now compete in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland before returning for the season finale at the Grand Prix of Monterey a week later. He then returns to the series in a full-time role for the outfit next year.
This weekend’s round will be Blomqvist’s second of the 2023 season, following his debut in Toronto last month. He was unlucky to be caught in a lap one incident through no fault of his own.
“Obviously, the circumstances are quite tricky with Simon’s recovery and the whole situation surrounding the 60 car,” Blomqvist said. “I know the whole team and myself included are thinking about him as he recovers.
“I’ve got to thank Jim (Meyer) and Mike (Shank) for getting me in the car and looking ahead now to next season, having been confirmed to drive with MSR next year. It’s a good thing to be getting these races under my belt before the season and working in preparation for my full program in 2024. I got a brief test in Toronto under very challenging circumstances – without any real preparation whatsoever.
“Now I’ve got a little bit more understanding and knowledge, and I’m hoping it’s going to be easier this time. I’m going to have the opportunity to get into the simulator, and I know a little bit more of what to expect in terms of the way the weekend runs.
“I don’t know Portland at all, and I know everyone has been racing flat-out in the summer. It’s still going to be an absolutely huge challenge. The series is so, so competitive, and I am still new to these cars. I’m not putting any pressure on myself, and I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”
Friday’s Motorsport Diary will have information on how to watch this weekend’s race and when.
Header Image: Joe Skibinski (Supplied by IndyCar)