Lighting up Oregon Trail Rally with a stellar fourth-place performance has placed Lia Block on radars around the world. Nowhere more so than in M-Sport’s Dovenby Hall headquarters.
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team principal Richard Millener didn’t waste much time in chasing a DirtFish debrief on Block’s performance after the second of two Pacific Northwest rounds of the Green APU ARA.
“What she did was impressive,” said Millener. “We had half an eye on Lia last year, obviously she’s young and she was in a Fiesta Rally4. She’s moved into the Subaru now and it’s really interesting to chart her progress in the move from front to rear-wheel drive.
“We watch young drivers around the world and we’re in constant contact with a lot of them. We’re always looking for that something special, something just a little bit extra. Maybe we saw that with Lia in Oregon. She looked like she dealt with the overheating issues on the opening day and then really pushed on through Sunday.
“Her car control is obvious as is the bravery and commitment.”
So, come on then, what do all those plaudits add up to? Would you give her a test if she found her way up to Dovenby?
“We’d certainly think about it,” said Millener. “We’d have to work out some details, but it would be very interesting to spend some time with Lia and to see how she looks behind the wheel. The sport needs interesting young drivers and the sport really needs more women and more Americans. Lia ticks all of those boxes.
“Here at M-Sport, we have a history with Ken, having run him in both the World Rally Championship and in World RX, so there’s already a good connection there.”
Block has already told DirtFish she’s eyeing the opportunity to come to Europe and consider a maiden rally outing outside of the United States. The Block House Racing driver turns 17 in October and would potentially be eligible to compete in the Central Europe Rally in late October.