Karting sensation Alex Powell notches second victory, looks to build on current formSaturday, March 20, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
Having now found his proverbial footing in the new season, Jamaica's karting sensation Alex Powell is hoping to capitalise on his current vein of form with another victory in the OK-Junior category at the WSK Super Master Series in Italy.
Powell, who suffered mechanical issues in the first two races of the season — the WSK Champions Cup and the first round of the Super Master Series — recovered well to notch his first win of the campaign in the second round of the Super Master series in La Conca recently.
The American-born Powell was among 171 drivers from 44 nations that graced the track in four different categories, and he managed to deliver a perfect exhibition in a post-to-post effort to finish tops in the OK-Junior category.
That winning performance by Powell followed his consistent placing in the top three through the various rounds, which inevitably saw him starting the final in pole position.
“It was a very tough race, the whole weekend was very tough because there was a lot of competitors and a lot of rubber on the track, so it was definitely the most physical race of the year so far and it definitely took a lot of mental and physical toughness to get through it,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer from his base in Sarno, Italy.
“For the final, I was just focused on doing the best that I could and just staying consistent because I knew that one mistake would make things a bit harder so I knew I had to keep my head forward and keep pushing.
“So it was tough, but it was worth it in the end. It was a long time coming and I felt good that I brought home another win not only for Jamaica but for the Caribbean after a long wait,” he added.
With this his second career win, following his triumph at the 31st edition of the Trofeo Andrea Margutti in Castelletto Di Branduzzo, Italy, late last year, Powell is now looking to build on those accolades when he lines up for the third round of the four-round Super Master series next week. The final round of the series is scheduled for April 25 in Lonato.
The win also saw Powell installing himself on top of the OK-Junior championship on 108 points, relegating UAE's Rashid Al Dhaheri, who won the first two races of the season to second on 94 points. “I knew for this season there would be more new drivers and so competition would be very tough, so I knew I had to be at my very best every single lap, every single session, and on every single corner. The first two races of the year we struggled a little bit with pace but the third race which was last weekend we got it all sorted out and got the win.
“This definitely sets me up for the remainder of the season and I hope we can continue like this and see even better results. So this was very important win because it gives the team confidence to keep pushing hard to achieve results like these,” Powell shared.
“The preparation for that race and the new season in general was a lot of hard work and I know I still have a lot more work to do as the season progresses because we have a lot more races to compete in. So like I said, hopefully I can continue this upward trend and win some more races or have more podium finishes because I would love to bring that home to Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean,” Powell added.
Despite being only 13 years old and one of the youngest drivers in his category, Powell, is wise beyond his years and his mental and physical prowess knows no bounds, as he consistently balances a hectic schedule with minimum fuss.
In fact, Powell, whose father John is a veteran rally driver, placed a positive spin on having just one day to recover before heading back on the track to prepare for another race.
“The good and bad about these races is that if you have a bad weekend you have one day to be sad about it and then you are back in training the next, and so it's the same if you have a good weekend. Just one day to soak it up and then switch your focus to the next,” Powell said with a laugh.
He added: “You also need to focus on your mental and physical attributes, being in the gym working out as much as possible and the mental aspect is geared around people you can talk to, to encourage and motivate you, or you can even talk to yourself and get your mind ready for the race.
“Those two factors are very important to getting you on top of your game ahead of a race, as you need to be able to let go off a bad race and also a good race. So for me, I tell myself this is a brand new weekend and new circumstances, so I just focus on doing the best that I can, he said.
On that note, Powell knowing very well that having a strong support system improves confidence and success, pointed to his family as his secret weapon and as such hailed their continued sacrifice and contribution in his push to realise his dream of joining the professional ranks.
“My dad is definitely a big factor, and not only him, but my mom and sisters and others have helped me up to this point. They all had an input and I know how much they have sacrificed for me and that is what gives me the push and drive to want to win even more,” the young driver shared.
“My dad is always at the races getting me pumped before the race and also after the races, if I had a bad race he would tell me where I went wrong or he would say it wasn't your fault, but we have to keep on going. So I am really appreciative and grateful of the support from family, friends and others and I will continue to push to make them proud,” Powell, a relative of “Sub-10 King” and former World record holder in the 100m, Asafa Powell, ended.
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