Lia Block to go open-wheel racing with 2024 F1 Academy series
Seventeen-year-old Lia Block, daughter of stunt driver and rally racer Ken Block who died less than a year ago in a snowmobile accident, will represent Williams Racing for the 2024 F1 Academy season, competing with the ART Grand Prix team.
A champion in her own right, Lia began racing in karts and rallying as an 11-year-old, but her debut in F1 Academy will mark her first full season of open-wheel racing. Lia has recently begun testing in open-wheel cars in preparation for this new challenge. It may be a steep learning curve, though, as many of her competitors have open-wheel experience.
“I am so excited to be joining the Williams Driver Academy and competing in F1 Academy in 2024,” she said. “This is something I never could have dreamed of. I can’t wait to embrace this new experience and learn as much as possible.”
Lia has grown up in the world of motorsport and has multiple accolades to her name, most notably winning the 2023 American Rally Association Open Two-Wheel Drive class to become the youngest ARA champion in history.
As part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy, the team will be supporting Lia’s learning and development to maximize her potential throughout the F1 Academy season. She will work closely with the F1 team to hone her skills, with access to the full spectrum of Academy support.
“We are excited to welcome Lia to Williams Racing as our F1 Academy driver for 2024,” Williams boss James Vowles said. “Lia has already achieved a tremendous amount in motorsport, has incredible natural talent, and the champion mindset and dedication to make a success of her journey into open-wheel racing.
“We cannot wait to get started on this journey together. As a team, we are committed to Formula 1 and F1 Academy’s joint efforts to improve female representation in motorsport, and we look forward to working with Lia as a key part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy.”
F1 Academy, the all-female racing series established by Formula 1, will enter its sophomore season in 2024 with each Formula 1 team fielding a driver.
All seven rounds of the series will support F1 races across Europe, Asia, and North America, with the championship commencing in Saudi Arabia before taking in rounds at Miami, Barcelona, Zandvoort, Singapore, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
According to the rally site Dirtfish.com, Lia may try to compete in some American Rally Association races in 2024 as her F1 Academy commitments allow.