Academy Report: Lia, Oleksandr and Sara keep pushing

Published on
19 Feb 2024
Est. reading time
2 Min

Our Academy eyes were across all the action in Spain and Italy this past weekend

The racing season continued its early-year ramping up last weekend with the Williams Racing Driver Academy again getting in some on-track action.
Lia Block and the Formula Winter Series circus travelled northeast from Jerez to Valencia, and our karting duo of Oleksandr Bondarev and Sara Matsui made the short journey from Cremona to Franciacorta.
All three enjoyed the winter sun after the wet weather running one week earlier, but the wheel-to-wheel racing was just as tricky for our trio as the slippery conditions before.

F1 Academy

Lia showcased her growing talent and resilience at the challenging Formula Winter Series event in Valencia, navigating through a competitive field of 38 drivers.
A crazy qualifying that had all drivers' efforts cancelled for track limit violations made for a mixed-up grid in Race 1, with Lia starting in P31, but kept clean and finished 29th, even with an early red flag finish.
Race 2 was an even better affair, and an advancement of eight positions from P33 to P25 had Lia finish as the best female entry.
Scheduling conflicts meant Lia and teammate Bianca Bustamante had to skip Race 3 to head to Saudi Arabia to prepare for F1 Academy's test session.


An unfortunate weekend of racing for Oleksandr had the Ukrainian start his weekend strongly with a P4 showing in the heats before crashes affected the subsequent sessions.
Nonetheless, the Final had a nine-place advancement for Bondi, jumping from a P29 start to a P20 finish, and he still sits in the top three positions of the championship order.
For Sara, her few days at Franciacorta saw midfield fighting throughout.
A P24 finish in the Final was the culmination of a hard-fought weekend in the deep field of 40 entries.
Both our karting entries will return to action for Round 4 at Napoli in a fortnight to round out the WSK Super Master Series running.
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