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Powell, Fennell Jr set for world stage

Tuesday, November 06, 2012    

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DRIVER John Powell and navigator Michael Fennell Jr are set to put their names in the record books with their attendance at the final round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Spain on November 8 to 11.

"This is a whole new ball game," Fennell Jr told Auto.

Both Powell and Fennel Jr have been campaigning in the 2012 FIA NACAM Rally Championship where they were the first from the English-speaking Caribbean to post points in an official championship. They are currently third in the series.

Fennell Jr explained how they got involved.

"A mutual friend of John told us there was seat available at M-Sport. We then made contact and made a rather quick deal," said Fennell Jr. The seat became vacant when Russian driver Evgeny Novikov switched teams due to a sponsorship arrangement.

The pair will now use the Ford Fiesta WRC formerly driven by Novikov.

"Jeffery Panton has competed on rounds of the WRC, but as a privateer. We go with full manufacturer backing," said Fennell, whose team will score points on behalf of M-Sport.

M-Sport, which is owned and operated by Malcolm Wilson, represents Ford Motor Company at the World Rally Championship.

Jamaica-born Powell, who competed and won the Rally Jamaica trophy for Trinidad and Tobago in 2011, is already in Europe doing tarmac tests with the Ford Fiesta. Fennell, despite his impressive credentials including the 1998 United States National Rally Championship, is under no pretence about the depth of the task ahead.

"A WRC event is very technical using technology we generally don't see in the Caribbean, especially for the co-driver. M-Sport has been bringing me up to speed with the timing codes," he said.

After the November 8th event, they will then head to Colombia for the NACAM finale.

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