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Blomqvist Stepping Into Acura LMDh After DPi Title Win

Tom Blomqvist transitions to testing Acura GTP mere days after winning DPi title with MSR…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Tom Blomqvist said it was “interesting” to step into a “completely different car” when he turned his first laps in the new-for-2023 Acura ARX-06 just two days after winning the IMSA DPi title with Meyer Shank Racing.

Blomqvist, along with Honda Performance Development vehicle dynamics engineer Matt McMurry, are driving one of the two Acura GTP cars during the sanctioned test at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta this week.

The test takes place immediately after the conclusion of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which saw Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis take MSR to the championship in beating fellow Acura outfit Wayne Taylor Racing.

“It was interesting,” Blomqvist said. “I didn’t really know what to expect. 

“Obviously I had heard some things from other drivers, but it’s a different car for sure. It’s completely different, even from the feeling inside the cockpit.

“I’m looking forward to growing with the program, getting used to it and seeing how we can push the performance of the car forward.”

The Briton also commented on the larger scale involved in HPD’s program compared to the DPi era as well as the challenge the hybrid LMDh car presents to drivers.

With all the engineers, obviously it’s a lot bigger program now,” he noted.

“The DPi was a well sorted out car, you didn’t really have to manage too many things there but now with the whole hybrid system. All the little tools we can [use] as a driver to extract performance from the package is a lot more intense.

“So we need to really make sure that we got all the right people involved and working hard towards a common goal.

“We obviously want to retain and defend our title.”

MSR is sharing development duties for the new car with WTR, which are running a separate car at the three-day test.

Blomqvist said both teams needed to transition from fierce rivals during Saturday’s title decider to partners in the development process but that they understand the task at hand.

“It was a little bit awkward when we went and did a combined meeting there on Sunday morning, I must admit,” he said.

“We’re well aware of the challenge, we’re working for Acura and HPD to ensure this package is competitive and among the best.

“Obviously we want to continue the success that we’ve had in this championship, so we have a common goal and we have to really work hard together to make sure the car is in the best possible position when we roll off at Daytona.

“Throughout the whole lifecycle of this car we have to keep working together and keep chipping away.

“Obviously as usual we’re going to be competitive against one other. We’re still competing for victories, for podiums against everyone.

“That just remains the same as what we’ve tried to do over the past season. Obviously we’ve always been respectful towards one another but we race hard.

“I think that little bit of internal competitiveness also helps drive the brand on and I think that’s what enabled us to dominate the championship last season.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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