Block makes history as first female Group E racer

Teenager to compete in Travis Pastrana's FC1-X at Southern California Nitrocross's Glen Helen round this weekend


She sounds just like any other 17-year-old looking at a gap jump. Except Glen Helen Raceway is no bike park. And the FC1-X is no bike. Lia Block steps up to the world’s fastest rallycross car at this weekend’s Southern California Nitrocross round.

And it’s not just any Group E car she’s driving, it’s the Vermont SportsCar-prepared machine Travis Pastrana should have been driving. The man behind Nitrocross was happy to step aside for a talent he reckons is ready to take on the world.

Block has been around Nitrocross competing in lower classes for three years and scored a NEXT podium last time out in Phoenix. She makes history as the first female competitor in the series.

Block said: “From first starting Nitrocross when I was 14 years old to now, three years later, being in the top class is crazy to think about.

I’ve always wanted to do the gap jump ever since I started Lia Block

“I’ve always wanted to do the gap jump ever since I started. This feels very much like full circle and I’m so thankful for Travis and the team at Vermont Sportscar to give me this opportunity to race at the top.

“I can’t wait to give it my all this weekend at Glen Helen!”

For Pastrana, he’s just returning a favor to the Block family in helping Lia out.

“Ken [Lia’s father] gave me the opportunity to shine by allowing me to star in his gymkhana videos,” he said.

“And now, with the help of my team at Vermont SportsCar, we couldn’t be more excited to give Lia this opportunity to race alongside the best drivers in the world at the wheel of my Group E car.”

Block, who dominated this year’s ARA Open Two-Wheel drive class in her first season in a Subaru BRZ, has recently signed to race F1 Academy with Williams next season.

Pastrana added: “She can be anywhere she wants to be. That’s not because of the resources she has or who her father was. She’s going to be that good because she believes she can, with confidence I’ve never seen and a natural ability to find speed where others can’t.

“She will do her best as Lia Block, not as Ken’s daughter.”