Powell inches closer to podium with 6th-place finish in Italy


Powell inches closer to podium with 6th-place finish in Italy

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

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His final rally in the FIA Academy Karting Championship over the weekend may not have brought about the intended results, but young sensation Alex Powell says his objectives were met for the most part, as he continues to fine-tune for the FIA World Championship slated for next month.

The American-born Jamaican and 35 other talented drivers from around the world locked horns over three days of intense competition at South Garda Karting in Lonato, Italy, where he initially placed third overall, but was later penalised by the stewards at the event for making contact, and that time penalty resulted in his sixth-placed finish.

However, that setback among others, were no great disappointment to Powell, who recently achieved the feat of being the first Jamaican to secure pole position at a karting championship, as he still had the highest-ever placing among Caribbean drivers.

“This series has a lottery system with the engines and they are changed after every heat. So on Friday and Saturday we struggled a bit with the performance of the kart and I had a did not finish (DNF) in one of the heats after colliding with another driver,” Powell explained.

“We also had wet conditions on Saturday which made it even more difficult, but we seemed to have a better package in the final on a sunny Sunday. I started 12th due to the DNF and fought my way up and unfortunately a penalty set me down to sixth place. But, overall I was very pleased with my performance in the final race,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday from his base in Italy where he will be situated until December.

Knowing very well that setting goals is the first step to accomplishing anything meaningful, Powell is constantly reminded of not only the importance of setting goals and then working hard to attain them, but to keep fighting even when the going gets tough.

With one of his main goals being to stand on the podium at the World Championship, the weekend run has added impetus to Powell's charge to accomplish the historic feat.

“I tried my best with whatever equipment I had. I am not used to the chassis I used because it is given to the drivers by the organisation, but I drove well in the wet and I performed well in the final.

“I would have liked a podium finish here and it didn't happen, but I feel I am getting closer to it,” the 12-year-old said with an air of confidence.

“This series is now finished, so now it's back to practise full speed, both physically and mentally for the World finals in Portugal. It is going to be a very tough event with over 120 of the world's drivers, but I am going out there to give it my best shot as always,” added Powell, who is still in his rookie season.

Roger Brown of Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) again lauded Powell for his stubborn determination and passion, which continues to drive him closer to bringing his podium dream to fruition.

“Each time Alex takes the track, it's a proud moment for our country and a proud moment for the JKA and our sport. He is making history.

“Alex's strengths are truly awesome and tenacious, even with the huge challenges the sport and the competition has at this, the highest level,” Brown reasoned.

“Alex had a challenging qualifying phase, but he held his own in the heats, especially in very wet conditions with a much more experienced field.

“It was just a very unfortunate, and also very controversial decision by the steward, who was criticised for questionable decisions over the weekend. But such is the nature of the sport. Notwithstanding, a great effort and very good representation from Alex on the FIA International stage,” he ended.

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