Tom Blomqvist says he’s glad to be back racing in a full-season capacity next year after joining BMW Team RLL’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program.
The Total 24 Hours of Spa winner will replace Alexander Sims in the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE, sharing the wheel with Connor De Phillippi throughout the year.
A space for Blomqvist opened up after it became clear that Sims would not be able to return to the WeatherTech Championship because of date clashes with his new role in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Blomqvist ran a fragmented 2018 program with various one-off rides in IMSA, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
He finished fifth overall in the latter driving in three races for two different BMW customer teams, but said he always preferred to be in a full-time role.
“It gives me a bit of stability,” Blomqvist told Sportscar365.
“This year was very fragmented and in all honesty, not easy because I was almost not feeling 100% part of something, just filling in and trying to do my best.
“I always think I do pretty well, especially with MTEK in the GTE car. The guys always say they have a lot of trust in me, so it’s good that we’ve been trying to find something that works in the United States.”
Blomqvist made his IMSA debut in this year’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and also contested three WEC races when Augusto Farfus had clashing DTM and FIA GT World Cup commitments.
The 2019 season will mark the 25-year-old Englishman’s first term of racing in North America and will include debut appearances at most circuits, including Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta.
“I’m really excited for it,” said Blomqvist.
“The guys out in the States have won a few races. It’s been a while since I last won so I’m looking forward to getting a consistent string of nice results.
“It was good to race the M8 at Watkins Glen. It was probably the unlucky race to do because we had a poor Balance of Performance and we weren’t very competitive so we didn’t fight for anything, but I’ve had a fair bit of experience in the WEC and we’ve been quite competitive there.”
Blomqvist also said he never doubted that BMW would find an opportunity for him in one of its global GT racing projects.
His last full-season campaign was in DTM last year with the German manufacturer, but he struggled for results.
“I think they always held me in really decent regard,” he said.
“I never questioned that I wasn’t going to be in one of their top programs. It was just trying to find something that I can enjoy – because that’s what it’s all about.
“Everyone who’s gone over there [to IMSA] – Martin [Tomczyk] went over the year before – they all say it’s amazing.”