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Castroneves to replace Blomqvist for Detroit and Road America

Written by Dan Jones

Credit: James Black

Hélio Castroneves will race the #66 Meyer Shank Honda at this weekend's Detroit Grand Prix, in addition to next weekend's race at Road America, after the team 'mutually agreed' for Tom Blomqvist to step aside for the next two races, after the Brit crashed in the opening turn in the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves, 49, stepped back from full-time IndyCar racing at the end of 2023, competing at the top level since 1998, where he has since become a minority partner in the team's ownership group, with Castroneves' role comprising of training both Blomqvist, and teammate, Felix Rosenqvist. Castroneves was only expected to run the Indianapolis 500 in 2024, where he finished 20th in the event.

Team Owner, Mike Shank stated: "Tom is 100% still a part of the MSR family and will remain a part of the team for the rest of the season. The decision was not made lightly and after much discussion with Tom, and with back-to-back races coming up, we have decided to have Helio drive in Detroit and at Road America.”

Blomqvist's Indy 500 ended earlier than hoped. Credit: Mike Young

Blomqvist, 30, is currently in his first full-time season in the series, after he did three races for the team in 2023, in Toronto, Portland and Laguna Seca. However, 2024 has proved more difficult for the Brit, with a best finish of 15th on the Streets of St. Petersburg, before the Brit would crash out in the first turn of his Indianapolis 500 career, in an incident that also caught out Marcus Ericsson and Pietro Fittipaldi.

Teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, has impressed in 2024 so far, taking a pole in Long Beach and winning his heat race at the $1 Million Challenge. Rosenqvist had finished in the top ten in all events, until his engine let go early on in last week's Indianapolis 500.

Blomqvist said: “It is fair to say that the last couple of days have been some of the hardest in my career, everyone who knows me knows how much I love being a part of the MSR family and together we have enjoyed some amazing successes and victories. I am looking forward to remaining part of the MSR family and contributing to the MSR vision as we chase down further successes in the future.”

Blomqvist's situation remains unclear. Credit: Chris Owens

It is unclear whether Blomqvist will return to action after Road America.

Castroneves will be the second substitute driver this weekend, after Dale Coyne's endless spinning wheel of drivers reached Tristan Vautier, who will step in the #51 car for the weekend, becoming the sixth driver for the team in as many races, joining Jack Harvey, Colin Braun, Nolan Siegel, Katherine Legge and Luca Ghiotto.

IndyCar heads to Detroit this weekend for the sixth round of the season - follow all the coverage and action on the DIVEBOMB website.


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