Tough luck!

Tough luck!

Jamaican Alex Powell praised for effort at FIA Karting Euro Champs, despite misfortunes

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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Rodger Brown, a club executive of the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA), has lauded young driver Alex Powell for a stellar showing at the just-concluded OK-Junior FIA Karting European Championships, despite suffering a series of unfortunate events that ruined his chances of landing the FIA Academy Trophy in Wackersdorf, Germany.

Powell, who did not finish his qualifying heat after taking a hit from another rookie driver on the fifth lap, started the final in 21st position and gallantly fought his way up to 10th position at one point, but took another hit on one of the turns and finished down the track in 24th position on the final day of action at the Prokart Raceland circuit on Sunday.

Prior to that, Powell suffered an engine failure, which saw him starting at the back of the pack in one of his heats.

Despite the misfortunes, Brown, who also relayed sentiments from President Rugie Misir, pointed out that Powell, who was one of the youngest competitors at the three-day championships, did the JKA and by extension, the country proud.

The 12-year-old's exploits at the championships, includes a fast 48.381-second clocking in qualifying practice on Friday to become the first driver from Jamaica or the Caribbean to claim pole position at an FIA championships.

Brown believes the manner in which Powell fought with stubborn determination is testament to his immense potential, which heightens expectations for future success.

“For sure there is a tremendous amount of pressure competing at that level, but he is always up for the fight and putting out his best on the track, and his ability and talent is without question,” Brown, who also serves as the JKA treasurer, told the Jamaica Observer shortly after the final.

“At only 12 years old, he is competing with older, more experienced drivers and setting fastest times, so we hope this experience will make him better and strengthen his resolve. World Championships is in November and he has shown that he has the acumen and ability to compete at the top,” he added.

With the European Championships being a dress rehearsal of sorts for the FIA World Championships in Portugal in November, Powell's performances, particularly his historic pole position achievement, have certainly placed him in the reckoning in the junior category.

The KR Motorsport representative, who is in his rookie season, ended the European Championships in 10th position on the overall standings on 22 points.

American Ugo Ugochukwu (65 points), Great Britain's Arvid Lindblad (60 points) and Tuukka Taponen (48 points) of Finland, ended as the top three drivers.

Some 140 drivers — 65 in OK and 75 in Junior — from 37 countries, made the trek to Wackersdorf for the last competition of these FIA OK and Junior Karting European Championships, making the field the biggest of the European season.


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