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Friday, December 1, 2023

Shank looking forward to “swift however positive progress” out of Blomqvist at Indy check

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The 29-year-old Briton might be one in all three contributors on Wednesday, alongside Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong and Linus Lundqvist, with 2021 NASCAR Cup champion, Kyle Larson, getting his first style of IndyCar equipment with Arrow McLaren on Thursday.

The programme consists of three managed velocity phases on the 2.5-mile superspeedway which are required forward of competing within the 108th Indy 500 on Could 26, 2024.

“We solely get three units of tyres for the entire day and instantly, we have got to run by the levels of ROP,” Meyer Shank Racing co-owner, Mike Shank, advised Autosport.

“I wish to see swift however positive progress by these levels. After which when he will get to run along with his second and third units of tyres, I wish to see him work towards having the ability to be flat across the place; comfortably, not panicked.

“He was superb there on the sim, he bought proper to it instantly. However there’s going to be [three] vehicles on the market which are more likely to see one another in all probability at totally different instances on the monitor. So, that is going to be new.

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“Actually, I simply want him to get comfy, which is nice that we now have to undergo these velocity steps. I am pleased with that, however I simply wish to see positive swiftness by the steps. I do not wish to see him unsure. That is why we simmed him and he understands what we have to do.”

The progress Blomqvist has made after three begins in 2023 is precisely the place Shank anticipated. Final month’s season finale at Laguna Seca, specifically, confirmed promising indicators, working by a race of mayhem to run as excessive as sixth simply previous the halfway level till inexperience got here into play adopted by an incident that left him retiring after 61 of 95 laps.

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Picture by: Jake Galstad

“At Laguna, he made a mistake within the race, and he was operating someplace within the high 10 and precisely the place I assumed he ought to be proper up till that time,” Shank mentioned. “He will get higher each single time he’s within the automobile and that arc goes precisely the way it ought to be.”

Then got here an oval inauguration at Texas Motor Speedway only a few days after.

“I used to be in a position to get him in a simulator for Indy and Texas earlier than we went out west,” Shank mentioned. “Texas was powerful, even within the simulator and Indy was a lot simpler for him within the simulator. So we thought, ‘Oh boy, Texas could possibly be attention-grabbing.’ By the top of the day in Texas, he bought proper up to the mark, and he was flat the entire means round. He took to the oval significantly better than I assumed he would.”

After team-mate Helio Castroneves did a 10-lap shakedown, Blomqvist was in a position to pound the pavement on the 1.5-mile superspeedway for over 200 laps within the Meyer Shank Racing Honda. 

“That was loopy,” Blomqvist mentioned. “It was cool. The primary lap I am like, ‘That is so bizarre.’ I’ve by no means carried out something like that. Simply the way in which you sit, just like the G’s… I used to be so tense that first run simply since you’re attempting to focus and simply taking every little thing in and on the speeds every little thing is coming at you so quick. That first one was undoubtedly an eye-opener.”

Blomqvist’s background has been nothing however highway and road circuits, which has allowed for a higher understanding of feeling the automobile and manipulating totally different phases of the nook below braking. Nevertheless, the transition to the oval takes a wholly totally different stage of understanding.

“The braking part on the road or highway course is like an important part of the nook,” Blomqvist mentioned.

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

“It units every little thing up. On the oval, it is gone. Proper. What I discovered is it’s important to be much more exact on the oval. The steering inputs turn out to be much more advantageous. It’s a must to be actually easy, which I really like. I feel it is simply going to be the velocity and getting used to the velocity, racing on the speeds. Driving by your self is one factor, however the race craft is a complete totally different aspect. That is going to be a brand new talent it’s important to develop.”

The advantages of Blomqvist getting the seat are invaluable forward of subsequent yr’s debut hybrid engine, too.

“A uncommon second of time that he bought to do three race begins plus do two ovals,” Shank mentioned, “all earlier than we begin into hybrid testing in December, which I feel is a reasonably distinctive alternative.”

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