Academy Report: Victories in Macau and the Baja 1000

Published on
19 Nov 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

Luke Browning triumphs at the Macau Grand Prix whilst Lia Block secured a P1 finish at the Baja 1000

Williams Racing enjoyed a weekend speeding through the desert and a city known for its abundant entertainment — but we're not on about the Las Vegas GP.
Instead, the Williams Racing Driver Academy were in action in Baja California and Macau, with winning trips at both.
Read on below to see how Lia Block handled a maiden 1300-mile rally and how Luke Browning sped around the streets of Macau.

Lia Block - Baja 1000

Lia Block, our newest Williams Racing Driver Academy member, raced to first place at the Baja 1000 in Mexico.
Together with her mother, Lucy Block, and the rest of the Block House Racing team, Lia secured a P1 finish in Pro Stock UTV, clocking in with nearly 34 hours of driving over the multi-day rally.
The Block House Racing team celebrate their Baja 1000 triumph.
The Block House Racing team celebrate their Baja 1000 triumph.
The off-road racing was in stark contrast to Alex and Logan's exploits down The Strip, but a delighted Lia looked right at home in her team's Can-Am Maverick R.
An incredible point-to-point northbound run from the coast of La Paz up to En Senada, covering 1310 miles of Mexican desert on the Baja peninsula, meant even our long Vegas Thursday night looked short in comparison.
Lia will switch to slick tyres next year, joining the F1 Academy grid with ART Grand Prix. The all-female championship will springboard off its USGP support slot from last month and join Formula 1 at seven grands prix over 2024.

Luke Browning - Macau GP

Luke Browning stole the show at the famed Macau Grand Prix, leading every lap of Saturday's qualifying race and Sunday's main event in the Asian city.
This non-championship race is a highlight of the feeder series calendar, and Luke beat out drivers from Formula 2, Formula 3, IndyCar, Formula E, and more to reach the top step.
Luke mastered the Macau streets to join an illustrious list of previous winners.
Luke mastered the Macau streets to join an illustrious list of previous winners.
Although he looked peerless on both race days, keeping a comfortable gap to those behind, Luke still had plenty of work to do.
Gabriele Mini, who qualified just 0.006s behind our 21-year-old Academy driver, was hot on his tail at the start of both races, but Luke shrugged off the overtaking attempts.
The incident-filled Sunday also had Safety Car slowdowns and a long red flag stoppage that could easily cause distractions.
Not so for Luke, though, who seemed unphased by the stop-start nature of the 15-lap race to reach the top step of one of motorsport's most prestigious podiums.

Coming Up...

It's a busy time for the Academy, with Zak O'Sullivan and Franco Colapinto ramping up to take on the FW45 next week. Both will join us for the post-season Young Drivers' Test.
Plus, Zak will enjoy his first FP1 session in Abu Dhabi on Friday, and Franco is making his Formula 2 debut around the Yas Marina Circuit over the weekend.
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