The FIA and the promoter of the World Rally Championship have decided that Ken Block's legendary start number 43 should no longer be awarded. With this one wants to pay one last respect to the deceased rally star.
If you ask which driver has done the most for the popularity of the rally scene in recent years, then the name Ken Block should not be missing in addition to the permanent world champions Ogier and Loeb. His action videos with spectacular drift cars have inspired millions of fans, especially young ones, for all-wheel drive sport.
After his fatal accident while driving a snowmobile in Utah, the FIA and the promoter of the World Rally Championship have thought about how to pay a last respect to Ken Block. In the end, those responsible decided to no longer assign the legendary starting number 43 in the WRC.
Officially it is still said that the promotion is only valid for this year. However, it is quite possible that starting number 43 will be permanently on the red list in the World Rally Championship. The measure is intended to show the family and the fans how important Ken Block was for the rally community.
World Rally Championship loses ambassador
Actually, the organizers had hoped that the superstar from California could fuel interest in the planned return of the World Rally Championship to the USA in the 2024 season. As the American rallying ambassador, Ken Block was due to appear at the Mexico Rally in March. But unfortunately nothing will come of it now.
"Given the tremendous contribution our close friend Ken Block has made to motorsport and his great global fan acclaim, it is only fitting that we withdraw his #43 in WRC 2023," said FIA -President Mohammed Ben Sulayem in an official statement. The head of the world association used to be active in rallying himself.
It's not the first time that the FIA has withdrawn a start number from the race. Since Jules Bianchi's fatal accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, the "17" has been on the index in Formula 1. In this case, it is already clear that this is a permanent measure.