The promoters of FIA WRC series has decided to retire Ken Block’s #43 for the 2023 season as a mark of respect.
The number 43 has been withdrawn from use in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship as a mark of respect to motorsport icon Ken Block. Block, who was best known for his viral video manoeuvres behind the wheel, his larger-than-life personality, along with his professional Rally prowess, passed away this week in a snowmobile accident at the age of 55.
The American was a fan-favourite, an idol to many and a beloved member of the rallying family. 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 honour of his memory, the WRC family in collaboration with the FIA has decided to retire the number for the 2023 season.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayemsaid: “Given the enormous contribution our great friend Ken Block made to motorsport and the fact that he was held in such high regard by people the world over, it is entirely appropriate that his #43 will be withdrawn from use during the 2023 WRC season. 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.”
“The impact that Ken had on rallying in taking our sport to an all-new audience cannot be underestimated,” added WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel. “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 made his FIA World Rally Championship debut in Mexico in 2007. He started 25 rounds at the pinnacle of the sport, mainly behind the wheel of M-Sport Ford cars.
[Note: The story is as per press release]