Blomqvist endures tough weekend in Austria
- Credit: Archant
Tom Blomqvist, driving in the DTM with BMW Motorsport, endured a disappointing race weekend at the Red Bull Ring, in Austria.
The 21-year-old finished 17th in the weekend’s first race and had to retire from the second with mechanical problems.
Qualifying for the first race was extremely competitive with the first 24 cars separated by less than a second. Blomqvist, in his debut year of DTM, recorded 21st fastest lap for an 11th row grid start for the race. He had a good start, but then dropped back in the melee of the first corner. Undaunted, he pushed on and challenged for position, improving on his grid slot by the end of the race.
“I made a very good start to the race, was in the wrong position for turn one and lost places again. I fought back, but then found myself stuck in a bunch of cars, which made life pretty difficult,” he said.
“The racing is quite aggressive out on the track in the DTM. The opposition does not leave you a lot of space. You have to hold your own.”
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Heavy rain dominated on Sunday. Rain fell until about 30 minutes before the start of qualifying – so heavily that warm-up had to be suspended. During qualifying the rain only fell lightly and Blomqvist posted 22nd fastest lap.
The start of the 10th race of the series was delayed by heavy rain and was then started behind the safety car due to the wet track conditions, with green flag racing starting after 11 minutes behind the safety car.
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All the BMW drivers struggled in extremely slippery conditions and were unable to match the pace being set at the front of the field. Blomqvist made up ground over the course of the race but unfortunately had to retire with mechanical issues just a few laps from the end.
“That was not my race at all. Visibility was really poor, and I was battling the entire time. I am struggling to find an explanation. We will now take a good look to see what it could be down to. This weekend has been one to forget.”
Of the whole weekend, Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director, said, “On the whole, this has been a very difficult weekend for us. Even in dry conditions on Saturday we did not manage to get the best out of our package. A tough qualifying session meant that we were always going to have to rely on strategy to get a good result today.
“For this to be the case, we would have needed a safety car. That never happened. The weekend in Spielberg marks the end of the first half of the season – one that has not turned out as we had hoped. The highlight was obviously our outstanding victories in Zandvoort. However, the other races showed that we are not where we want to be compared to our strong opponents.
“Up until now we have been consistently successful in the three seasons since our return to the DTM, winning six of a possible nine titles. 2015 has been a tough year for us so far. Recent races have shown just how evenly balanced the DTM is. The tiniest of details can make the difference between battling for the win and racing in the middle of the field.
“We will now work hard to come back stronger in the second half of the season. I am sure it has been an exciting first half of the season for the fans, with many highlights and positive developments.”
The DTM season continues with a race weekend in Moscow from August 28-30.