Tom Blomqvist: a rookie outpaces them all
While the rest of the field set 1:23-minute lap times, at Oschersleben, the time keeping regularly clocked 1:22-minute laps for him: Tom Blomqvist. The rookie and his BMW seemed to race in a class of their own, in the Sunday race. The Briton virtually was flying on the way to the first DTM win in his career. “Our package gave me a lot of confidence, this weekend,” BMW’s youngest race winner in the history of DTM said after the race. “I was very optimistic from lap one and knew that securing a great result would be possible. But that I even could make it to the highest step on the podium is just incredible. I’m lost for words.” For the 21-year old, the DTM triumph at Oschersleben was the biggest success in his career to date. Secured some 200 kilometres away from the place where it nearly had come – four years ago – to an early and sudden end
Blomqvist inherited the racing gene from his father. Particularly in the 1980s, Sweden’s Stig Blomqvist was one of greatest drivers in international rallying. He contested a total of 122 rallies, won the 1984 World Rally Championship with an Audi Quattro and finished runner-up in the following season. His son, however, opted for a road-racing career, after the obligatory years in karting (2003 to 2009). Or, to be more precise, for single-seater racing. In his debut season in the Swedish Formula Renault he secured a race win as well as another five podiums and finished third in the championship. Furthermore, he contested to races of the British Formula Renault winter season and won them both to become – just 15 years old – the youngest race winner in the history of the series. In the following year, Blomqvist again made history, there: now he won the title to become the series’ youngest champion of all times.
In 2011 he switched to the German Formula 3 Cup to once again make an outstanding debut: he finished runner-up in his maiden race to celebrate his first race win just a few weeks later. In the seventh round of the season, however, Blomqvist encountered the worst moment in his career so far. In a bad crash at the Lausitzring he suffered serious injuries but at the end of the day, he was quite lucky in consideration of the circumstances and got away with a broken lumbar vertebra. “This accident didn’t frighten me,” stresses Blomqvist who was forced to take a half-year break. “It was a setback but I coped with that.” A fact he demonstrated in the following three years in the European Formula 3: in 2012 and 2013 he came seventh to finished the 2104 season as vice-champion. BMW had seen enough and in early February, 2015, they signed the Briton as DTM driver for Team RBM.
And at the latest since Oschersleben, nobody in the Bavarians’ camp will challenge his decision. Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “What a sensational debut win! Having adapted that quickly in his DTM debut season and having won a race in this dominant style deserves maximum respect.” Even more so a Blomqvist had his problems, in the early stages of the season – just as his manufacturer. In the meantime, however, he scored points in four races. Following his Oschersleben win he has got 41 points on his tally, holds 16th position in the championship and is the clear leader in the unofficial rookie ranking – followed by the Mercedes-Benz drivers. Lucas Auer (10 points) and Maximilian Götz (6). “In the opening stages of the season I quickly realised that becoming successful in DTM will be extremely tough. But this weekend everything worked flawlessly and I succeeded in making use of that. This tasted like more.”