Lia Block says she’s keeping an open-minded approach as she prepares to swap off-road racing for the world of single seaters this season.

The 17-year-old is already a proven winner as the youngest American Rally Association Champion and brings with her a wealth of experience in rally, Extreme E and rallycross. However, 2024 presents a whole set of new challenges for Block as she enters her first full campaign in open-wheel racing.

Whilst the task ahead of her might be intimidating at first, the American driver isn’t putting any extra weight on her shoulders as she aims to make the most of what the new opportunity presents.

“Honestly, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed,” Block admitted. “It’s a little crazy. The transition has been quite fast, and I feel like I’ve just been thrown in the deep end, but I’m trying to float. Just getting to the first races is going to be pretty hard, there’s a lot of learning happening and (I’m) trying to do the best as possible.

“I think honestly just learning and not setting any expectations, but just trying to do the best as possible to my own ability and hopefully just keep prepping for the next years.”

Fortunately for Block, her adjustment period has benefited from the encouragement of Williams Racing. Joining their Driver Academy ahead of her season racing for ART Grand Prix, she credits the British team’s assistance in helping her settle in during the crucial pre-season preparation.

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“It’s honestly been amazing working with them,” she said. “They’re all super supportive, it feels like a little family. To have the confidence from them backing me is really, really helpful in just getting through these first couple of weeks and getting to the first round.”

Swapping the desert dunes for the streets of Jeddah might be distinctly different challenges, but Block believes there are some transferrable skills that will put her in good stead to deal with the variables that come with racing.

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When asked how she was managing the transition, she remarked: “I’m just moving my brain over to single seater stuff. It’s a lot of opposites, from racing to preparation.”

Block continued: “I think that all types of motorsports somehow relate to each other, so I think just taking my car control from the off-road and looser surfaces can definitely help me in single seaters because that’s not something a lot of the girls have.

“They grew up karting, so I think that’s something that could definitely benefit me. I’m just learning a lot even from single seaters that I could bring back over to off-road.”