INTERNATIONAL driver Alex Powell assisted in pulling out the patrons at the fifth meet of the Jamaica Karting Association's (JKA's) 2022 championship season at Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston on Sunday, August 21.
"We had at least double the previous crowd size," Neil Williams, JKA's vice-president, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
It didn't stop there, according to Williams.
"We had our largest turnout of karters for the year and it's growing every time. It was a meet with exciting racing with a large crowd especially in the Junior and Senior categories. There was many spectators with lots of press coverage. There was a buzz in the air and I believe all the drivers stepped up their game to impress," he said.
Powell, son of Jamaican rally driver John Powell, is 14 years old. He made history at 11, becoming the first Caribbean driver to ever be signed to a Formula One team when, in March 2019, he joined the Mercedes-AMG F1 Junior programme. This was his second visit to a JKA event and while shorter, it was nonetheless impactful as a steady stream of delighted fans took pictures to cement the memory of his attendance. Much like his meeting with multiple F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, Powell was happy to share his experiences with younger karters.
"The biggest take away from karting at this level is that the more hard work you put in, the more you're going to get out. Everybody always says that. I always understood the saying, but I never really saw it until recently in my racing career I've been seeing it a lot more," said Powell as he addressed the audience before presenting trophies from a previous JKA meet.
The racing continued the reverse circuit race format, which will end next meet.
"It has run two times already in reverse and the final time will the next race meet six on October 2. The final two race meets will be run in the normal direction," explained Williams.
Dylan Smith was tops in the Comer 50 class as was Brandon Shor in Rotax Micro Max. Paul Patterson led Rotax Mini Max, while Zander Williams was the points leader in Rotax Junior. The Rotax Senior class went the way of Brandon Finzi-Smith. Rafique Golaub continued his run at the head of the Super Rotax class.
Williams said that the JKA has no more international guests expected; however, the club is still hoping to host the Caribbean Junior Karting Academy competition by the end of the year.