FIA withdraws #43 in 2023 WRC season to honor Ken Block

Ken Block

The number 43 has been withdrawn in this year’s World Rally Championship (WRC) as a mark of respect to motorsport icon Ken Block.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What was the connection between Ken Block and the number 43?

    The American rally driver carried the number on most of the cars he drove during his career.
  • When did Block start his World Rally Championship career?

    Block started his career in WRC in 2007.
  • In a statement, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) said that the number 43 was “synonymous with Block’s brand and one which he carried on most of the cars he drove from the very beginning of his career.”

    “In honor of his memory, the WRC family, in collaboration with the FIA, has decided to retire the number for the 2023 season,” the FIA explained.

    FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said that such initiative was “entirely appropriate” given the enormous contribution Block made to motorsport and was held in such high regard by people around the world.

    “While it’s a small gesture, we hope that it is one that will bring some comfort to his family and friends at this time. Ken was a true legend and the memory of this true legend will live with us forever,” Sulayem said.

    ken-block-signs-with-audi

    Further, WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said that the impact Block had on rallying “in taking the sport to an all-new audience cannot be underestimated,” said.

    “For Ken, fan engagement was paramount, making him a beloved figure of the WRC. As a sport, withdrawing the number 43 – a number synonymous with Ken –is our small mark of respect for Ken’s family, friends, and fans,” he added.

    Block, who died in a snowmobile accident at the age of 55, made his debut at the FIA WRC in Mexico back in 2007. He started 25 rounds at the pinnacle of the sport, mainly behind the wheel of M-Sport Ford cars.

    Photos from Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, Audi

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