Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Presenting two of Honda’s Indy 500 Rookies

As Honda spreads the love with three rival teams. Although sadly, One of these Doesn’t look like the others…


This year’s Indianapolis 500 Rookie Class features seven diverse drivers. With five Honda runners and two Chevrolets. For which one of these Bowtie Boyz’ will most definitely be Hogging the limelight Ad Nausea ! Hmm, who could that be, Eh?


Tom Blomqvist

#66 Meyer Shank Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: New Zealand

DOB: 11/30/93, Age: 30

IndyCar Starts: 7

2022 IMSA Prototypes Champion


The son of Rallying legend Stig Blomqvist, the 1984 World Rally Champion. (WRC) As forty years seems a lifetime ago, Yikes! I’ve long been a Fan of whom I call tom “the bomb!” Blomqvist. Although I’m embarrassed to admit how little I know about Him…


Thus learning that Tom was a multi-times Karting Champion in New Zealand before progressing up the European single seater ladder. Discovering that He suffered a broken back during a German Formula 3 race in 2011 at the notorious EuroSpeedway Lausitz racetrack, Youch!


Or that ironically, future IndyCar teammate Felix-the-Cat’ (Rosenqvist) won the 2014 Macau Grand Prix, while Blomqvist was punted off-track by future Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon!


Tom raced in the DTM, nee Deutch Tourenwagen Masters between 2015-17, claiming one win. Then spent the next several years in Formula E, along with a stint in the FIA World Endurance championship before joining Meyer shank Racing’s IMSA Sports Car team fulltime in 2022.


Blomqvist and teammate Oliver Jarvis won that year’s Prototype Championship, along with the first of Tom’s two back-to-back Rolex 24 victories. As it was Blomqvist’s amazing, raw speed that made me a fan of His…


Blomqvist first tested an IndyCar at an Sebring test session in October, 2022. Then at the 2023 Toronto IndyCar race, Tom made His IndyCar debut as a substitute for the injured Simon Pagenaud, before running athe season’s final two races at Portland and Laguna Seca.


Confirmed as the Fulltime driver of Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 66 entry as Helio Castroneves successor. Tom has scored two Top-20 finishes to date, with His season best result being P15 at St Pete’s season opener. Whilst currently languishing in 23rd overall, one place below the “Cut” line for Leaders Circle prize find…


As Blomqvist, who’s never driven on an Oval before, prepares to make His Roundy-round’ debut on the world’s biggest stage!


Nolan Siegel

#18 Dale Coyne Racing

Engine: Honda

Country: USA

DOB: 11/9/04, Age: 19

IndyCar Starts: 1


As previously noted, 19yr old Palo Alto, California native Nolan Siegel plans to contest four races this season at the ever revolving Dale Coyne & company’s cockpits. Having made His IndyCar debut at this year’s Thermal Club event, driving the No. 18 entry He’s primarily “sharing” with Jack Harvey.


Nolan then made His official IndyCar debut at “the Beach!” One of Nolan’s Home track’s, ergo Long Beach, where He drove the No. 51 Coyne Ware Racing entry with local “eatery” King Tacos sponsorship.


Siegel will also contest the Toronto race this July, along with attempting to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, both in the No. 18 entry. Running just a maximum of four IndyCar races in order to preserve His rookie IndyCar status for 2025.


Nolan made His single seater debut in the 2019 U.S. f2000 National Championship driving for Newman Wachs Racing, finishing 15th overall.


The following year, Siegel switched to Jay Howard Driver Development for His sophomore U.S. F2000 campaign, finishing P13 overall.


Then for His third and final U.S. F2000 season, Nolan switched to DEForce Racing, finishing eighth overall while claiming His maiden victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park.


Siegel made His Indy Pro 2000 series debut at the 2021 Gateway Oval race. Then graduated to the Indy Pro 2000 championship for a full season drive with DEForce Racing.


Nolan won first time out at St Pete, before dominating the next round at Barber Motorsports Park. Yet that would be the last of Siegel’s victories, ultimately finishing fourth overall in the title fight.


Siegel also contested the final Indy Lights race at Laguna Seca driving for HMD Motorsports before joining Indy NXT fulltime in 2023, remaining with HMD Motorsports. Impressing as a rookie by winning two races and finishing third overall, also claiming Indy NXT’s rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours.


Siegel’s “Day Job”, the 2024 Indy NXT Championship is off to a blazing start! Having won Round-1, leading wire-to-wire from Pole at St Pete. Followed by a second place finish at Alabama. Entereing the IMS Road Course Double Header weekend tied for the points lead with Jacob Abel.


But the Indy GP Double Header weekend wasn’t what Nolan hoped for, with finishes of second and fifth, seeing Him fall 25 “markers” behind Points leader Abel.


 As it’ll be interesting to “see” how Nolan fares on His first Super Speedway Oval. While having landed a ride with United Autosports for this year’s 24 Heurs du Mans. As talk about your veritable driver’s “bucket list” as a teenager! As All that’s missing is Monaco…


Yet Siegel’s Fast Friday was definitely not what He needed. Having apparently “wiggled” coming out of Turn-2 and ultimately over-correcting. Nolan’s front-left tyre Hit the wall after spinning, shearing the wheel assembly off! With the car getting airbourne momentarily before flipping upside down and grinding down the track before finally coming to a stop!


The good news being that Nolan was medically cleared and was Ok. But the team was scrambling to assemble a backup chassis for Him. Being Jack Harvey’s Indy GP road course racecar. Which sadly the team never recovered from!


Since it’s odd hearing that 229mph is Slow! But this is the Indy 500 where ultimately, you needed to be at 230mph or above to “safely” qualify for the race!


Alas, Nolan gave it a brave effort, but the teenager simply was never able to wrastle’ the necessary speed out of this backup chassis. And at the end of the One hour Last Row Shootout, Nolan was the slowest of four cars. And trying to throw a Hail Mary, Siegel’s wickedly loose trimmed out racecar was too much to handle – with Nolan losing the back end entering Turn-1 on lap-2 and crashing into the wall! Seeing the No. 18 Failing to make the Show.