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Blomqvist has ‘experience and talent to execute’ in IndyCar, says Lundgaard

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard believes that IndyCar debutant Tom Blomqvist “has the experience and the talent to execute with his opportunity” in Toronto this weekend.

Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing

Photo by: Meyer Shank Racing

IMSA star Blomqvist has been called up by his Meyer Shank Racing team to substitute for Simon Pagenaud, who still hasn’t been cleared to return to competition by IndyCar medical after his horrendous crash in practice at Mid-Ohio earlier this month.

Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Blomqvist previously raced extensively in Formula 3, DTM and Formula E before his move to America, where he won the IMSA SportsCar Championship title at his first attempt and is now a two-time Daytona 24 Hours winner.

When asked by Motorsport.com how he thinks Blomqvist will fare on the difficult Toronto street course, Lundgaard replied: “With his experience in the LMDh car – they do run Long Beach and run the faster and longer race tracks as well – I think he'll be fine.

“I think he'll be as competitive as the car will be. I do think it's a tough track, but he has the experience and the talent to execute with his opportunity.”

Blomqvist has only had one test in an IndyCar, at Sebring in October last year, and Lundgaard – who is currently 10th in points after recent strong performances – believes that the biggest challenge he’ll face is getting his head around Firestone’s primary and alternate tire compounds.

“We all hear that when you come into a racing series that has different compounds,” he said. “It's always difficult to know what you've got, what extra you've got, I should say, when you put a softer compound on. Again, he has that experience with the different categories that he's raced.

“Quite honestly, I think he'll be doing well, but it is a tough championship to just jump into and be competitive, even though that I feel like the guys that are here now that have a one-off race were all very competitive in their first race.”

Michael Shank, Team Owner, Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing

Michael Shank, Team Owner, Tom Blomqvist, Meyer Shank Racing

Photo by: Meyer Shank Racing

Blomqvist has triple nationality thanks to being born in Britain to Swedish and Kiwi parents, and Lundgaard quipped that having a race in Scandinavia in future would be a good idea given how many northern Europeans race in the series.

“There's me and Benjamin [Pedersen], which is two Danes. We actually got Josef [Newgarden] as well, who's a half Dane. I think we've got two Swedes [Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist]... So I think we'll have to fight over where [the race is] going to be!

“I know there was plans of actually building a proper racetrack in Denmark. I don't know what's happened to it, or if it's been built or whatever. But that would definitely be something that I would be up for and would definitely push for it.

“Right now, I don't think it's the right time for the series to move to Europe. I mean, obviously now with [Agustin] Canapino, I don't know if they're looking for a race in Argentina or not. That would be a starting point.

“We'll take it slow, but I do think we definitely need to move somewhere [outside of North America] as well.”

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